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Celtic signing this 28-year-old free agent star would be a handy boost to their midfield

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 27: Sadio Mane of Liverpool evades Gianelli Imbula of Stoke City during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield on December 27, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Why Giannelli Imbula is worth a punt for Celtic on a free transfer

According to French outlet Le Parisien (h/t MSN), Celtic have been offered the chance to sign former Stoke City midfielder Giannelli Imbula, who is currently a free agent in the market. The 28-year-old is without a club after leaving Russian Premier League outfit Sochi last year. 

Celtic’s current midfield scenario

Celtic aren’t really short of options in central midfield with Scott Brown, Oliver Ntcham, Callum McGregor and Ismaila Soro all competing for places. With Neil Lennon also having the luxury of rotating Tom Rogic, David Turnbull and Ryan Christie in the No.10 position, the Hoops are pretty well-stocked in the middle.

Having said that, however, question marks continue to linger over the futures of some of the deep midfielders in the squad. Veteran skipper Brown is out of contract at the end of the season and it remains unclear whether he will be offered an extension after struggling for form over the past few months.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – AUGUST 27: Yannick Bolasie of Everton and Gianelli Imbula of Stoke City during the Premier League match between Everton and Stoke City at Goodison Park on August 27, 2016, in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Lynne Cameron/Getty Images)

Ntcham has also found himself down the pecking order this term, having featured as a key squad player for Lennon in the previous seasons. The Frenchman has attracted interest from several Premier League clubs and Celtic would surely have a void to fill if he ends up departing Parkhead anytime soon. 

Soro’s emergence has been a rare positive for the Hoops this season, with the Ivorian leapfrogging Brown in the defensive midfield role. But given the pressure of competing on several fronts, Celtic can do with more competition for places in that department.

Imbula a worthy addition?

Putting things into context, Celtic snapping up free agent Giannelli Imbula would go a long way towards ensuring healthy competition for places in the middle of the park. With Brown nearing his twilight and out of contract next summer, the Congolese international’s inclusion in the mix would offer Lennon a quality alternative to Soro in the No.6 role. 

Toulouse’s French midfielder Giannelli Imbula (L) vies with Angers’ French midfielder Thomas Mangani (R) during the French L1 Football match between Angers (SCO) and Toulouse (TFC), on October 21, 2017, in Raymond-Kopa Stadium, in Angers, northwestern France. (Photo by JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER / AFP) (Photo credit should read JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images)

In truth, Imbula would represent a far more experienced option as compared to Soro in that position. The 28-year-old has plied his trade across various elite leagues in Europe, featuring prominently for the likes of Marseille, Porto, Stoke City, Rayo Vallecano and Toulouse. 

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With more than 270 club career appearances under his belt, the 28-year-old would surely add more depth and quality to Celtic’s midfield. Imbula’s career has been in a downward spiral in recent years but his pedigree as a proven performer at the highest level certainly can’t be overlooked.

That said, Celtic grabbing the opportunity to sign the Congolese free agent can pay off handsomely.

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game.

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