Why Celtic should go all out for Man City winger Ian Poveda

According to Tuttosport (h/t Daily Express), Celtic have been offered the chance to sign Man City winger Ian Poveda, who is out of contract at the Etihad at the end of the season. 

The Hoops are expected to face stiff competition from EFL Championship promotion-hopefuls Leeds United in their pursuit of the highly-rated 19-year-old, although Italian Serie A outfit Torino are currently leading the race to sign the talented winger. (h/t Daily Express)

Man City aren’t looking to offer Poveda fresh terms and are willing to move him on before the January deadline to avoid losing him for free in the summer, Daily Express understands. 

As per the report, the reigning Premier League champions are willing to insert a buy-back clause in any deal for the teenager that would allow them to bring him back to the back in the future. 

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Ian Poveda has represented England across various age-group levels (Getty Images)

Born in Southwark, London, to parents of Colombian descent, Poveda started his footballing education at Chelsea and spent time at the academies of Arsenal, Barcelona and Brentford before joining Man City at the youth level back in the summer of 2016. 

Poveda burst on to the scene in the U-18 Premier League during the 2016-17 campaign, scoring 8 times in 22 appearances before eventually going on to feature for the U19s in the UEFA Youth League campaign. 

The 19-year-old made the transition to the U23s during the 2018-19 season and has since established himself as a regular at the Premier League 2 level, scoring 4 times and laying on a further 7 assists for his teammates in 31 outings. 

Meanwhile, Celtic have already set the ball rolling in the winter market with a deal for young Polish striker Patryk Klimala, who has been roped in to provide cover and competition for star man Odsonne Edouard. 

The 21-year-old’s arrival at Peakhead certainly comes as a piece of welcome news, given that neither Leigh Griffiths nor Vakoun Issouf Bayo has been able to make a big impact this season. 

The Hoops have certainly solved a nagging issue in a key area of the pitch with that move but links with Poveda suggest that Neil Lennon is open to making further additions to bolster his ranks ahead of a crucial second half of the season.

The departure of Scott Sinclair to Preston North End has somewhat depleted Celtic’s wide attacking options while another wide player Lewis Morgan is also closing in on a move to David Beckham’s Inter Miami in the United States. (h/t Daily Mail)

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Man City are willing to cash in on Poveda before the January deadline (Getty Images)

Hence, if those speculations are to be believed, Celtic are in danger of finding themselves short of cover out wide in the coming months, something that should be a real concern for Lennon, who will surely need to have all his bases covered to cope with the challenge of delivering silverware on multiple fronts. 

James Forrest and Mohamed Elyounoussi are specialist wingers by trade while Mikey Johnston has already shown strong signs of promise, but it is a no-brainer that the reigning Scottish champions can certainly do with more depth on the flanks following the departure of Sinclair.

Verdict

To put things into perspective, Ian Poveda doesn’t have a lot of professional experience under his belt but his talent and potential have been there for everybody to see, and Celtic could have a gem on their hands in the future if the winger goes on to fulfil his promise.

The Hoops raided the English market for burgeoning young talents like Luca Connell, Lee O’Connor, Jonathan Afolabi and Jeremie Frimpong this past summer and Frimpong’s immediate impact in the first-team should prompt Lennon to complete a deal for Poveda, who apparently has the raw materials to excel north of the border. 

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Celtic have been offered the chance to sign Poveda (Getty Images)

It is hardly a secret that Celtic have a healthy working relationship with Man City. Patrick Roberts spent more than two seasons on loan at Parkhead while the likes of John Guidetti, Georgios Samaras, Dedryck Boyata and Jason Denayer have all made the move from the Etihad Stadium to Parkhead in recent years. 

With City looking to insert a buy-back clause in Poveda’s deal, selling him to Celtic would make it easier for the Citizens to keep close tabs on the winger’s development due to the geographical proximity between the two clubs. 

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Having said that, Celtic beating off competition for Ian Poveda could pay off handsomely for them in the years to come.