Why Jonjoe Kenny joining Celtic on loan is an ideal move for all parties
The Hoops had been in the market for a new right-back following the sale of Jeremie Frimpong. Neil Lennon’s side eventually managed to rope in Kenny on deadline day to temporarily fill the void left by the youngster’s departure from Parkhead.
Kenny’s struggles at Everton
A youth exponent of Everton, Jonjoe Kenny made his first-team debut in the Premier League during the 2015-16 season. The right-back eventually established himself in a prominent role at Goodison Park after furthering his development on loan at Oxford United and Wigan Athletic in the Football League.
He made 25 appearances in all competitions during the 2017-18 season but slipped down the pecking order under former manager Marco Silva. After featuring just 13 times in 2018-19, Kenny was loaned out to Bundesliga outfit Schalke, where he made a positive impression and played 34 times in all competitions.
However, the former England youth international had found it difficult to break into Carlo Ancelotti’s plans. Kenny started just once in the Premier League for the Toffees this season prior to his loan switch to Celtic, having found himself behind Seamus Coleman and Mason Holgate in the pecking order.
Celtic’s defensive problems
Celtic have all but surrendered the domestic title to Rangers for the first time in a decade this season. Neil Lennon’s side currently find themselves 20 points adrift of their bitter Old Firm rivals as a result of their inconsistencies in the ongoing campaign.
The club’s lack of stability at the back has been earmarked as one of the major reasons behind their struggles this term. Celtic conceded just 19 times in the league last season but have already shipped 20 goals so far in the ongoing campaign.
Moreover, the Hoops conceded a dismal 19 goals in 6 games in the group stages of the Europa League, which further points to a collective failure at the back for Lennon’s brigade. Celtic, to that end, were already in dire need of seeking some additional cover at the back.
Hence, it’s a no-brainer that the sudden departure of Frimpong midway intensified their pursuit of a new right-back. Kristoffer Ajer is capable of playing in that role but the Hoops surely needed some a specialist replacement to ensure smooth sailing between now and the end of the season.
Kenny loan a fair settlement for all?
Kenny’s situation at Everton looked unlikely to change in the coming months. The temporary switch to Celtic has now opened a window of opportunity for the right-back to play regularly and continue his development in the right direction. Whether or not he’d be a part of Everton’s plans next season remains to be seen, however.
Regardless of that, the 23-year-old would certainly help Celtic cope with the departure of Frimpong heading into the final quarter of the campaign.
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He might only be a stop-gap signing but Celtic would be more than happy if he manages to live up to the expectations for the remainder of the season.