Why Joel Randall would be a good long-term signing for Celtic
As per the report, Hoops boss Neil Lennon is on the lookout for some fresh additions to bolster his attack in the mid-season trading period. Randall has emerged as a target for the reigning Scottish champions, with the winger’s contract at Exeter City due to expire at the end of the season.
However, the Grecians are still expected to demand a significant fee to part ways with their prized asset. The English fourth-tier outfit are looking for a fee in the region of £1.5million but Celtic are hopeful of striking a deal for much lesser, given his unresolved contract scenario.
A youth exponent of Exeter City, Randall made his first-team debut in an EFL Trophy tie against Chelsea back in November 2017. He spent time on loan at Taunton Town, Tiverton Town, Bideford and Weymouth in the non-league arena to further his development before enjoying a breakthrough season in EFL League Two this term.
Randall has caught the eye with a string of impressive displays in the fourth-tier this season, registering 6 goals and 4 assists in 14 appearances for far. He has also netted twice in the FA Cup for the Grecians, taking his overall tally for the season up to 8 goals in 18 appearances.
As per the report, the winger’s rise to prominence at Exeter City has put a number of clubs higher up the pyramid on red alert. EFL Championship promotion-hopefuls Swansea City are also believed to be lining up a cut-price swoop for the youngster this month.
Putting things into context, Joel Randall would be an excellent signing for Celtic with one eye on the future. The 21-year-old has already started to make significant strides in his development at Exeter City in the Football League. He might not be the finished article just yet but his early potential certainly points to a bright future in the game.
Celtic can certainly do with another out-and-out winger in their squad. Mohamed Elyounoussi has been a key player for the Hoops over the past couple of seasons but he isn’t a long-term solution. With the Norwegian set to return to Southampton following the expiry of his loan spell at the end of the season, the Hoops should line up some alternatives.
Despite largely featuring as a left-winger this season, Randall is more than capable of operating out wide on the other side of the pitch. Such a trait of versatility would offer Neil Lennon a quality back-up for James Forrest. The veteran remains one of the best in his position in Scottish football but Celtic need to start taking the pressure off his shoulders at 29.
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Joel Randall still has plenty of room for development at 21, meaning Celtic shouldn’t hesitate to splash the cash on the youngster in January. Exeter City have produced talents like Ollie Watkins and Ethan Ampadu in recent years and Celtic could unearth their own gem from the Grecians’ academy by striking a deal for Randall.