One area where Celtic will need to recruit this summer is in defence.
The Hoops have been abject at the back and have shipped 16 more league goals than their Glasgow rivals throughout the 2020/21 Premiership campaign.
The Parkhead goal has been breached on a regular basis but things won’t get any easier if Kristoffer Ajer heads elsewhere.
What’s the word?
The Norwegian won’t be the only defender who could depart Paradise this summer. Jonjoe Kenny is due back at Everton following the conclusion of his loan spell, while Diego Laxalt will be moving back to AC Milan.
The Uruguayan has had a troublesome spell in Glasgow and it said a lot that John Kennedy favoured Adam Montgomery over both him and Greg Taylor when Celtic demolished St Johnstone in midweek. However, with Laxalt heading off, the Bhoys could do with another left-back.
According to TEAMtalk, they are interested in signing MK Dons’ Matthew Sorinola. The 20-year-old has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign in Buckinghamshire but could be heading for a summer move.
Should Celtic sign Sorinola this summer?
Unfortunately for the English League One side, they look set to lose him for a minimal compensation fee. Sorinola has refused a new contract and now has suitors ranging from Celtic to clubs in Belgium, France and Spain.
Perfect for Howe
That’s because of the system and style of football to which Sorinola has become accustomed to playing at MK Dons.
Russell Martin’s side are one of the best at keeping possession in English football – in fact, only Manchester City have enjoyed more of the ball in England’s top four tiers this season. Pep Guardiola’s team have had an average of 60.9% of possession in 2020/21, while MK Dons have had 60.3% of the ball across their matches.
This is crucial because of the way that Celtic and indeed Howe like to play. The Hoops generally dominate the ball, something to which their possession average of 61.9% testifies.
Howe favoured an aesthetically pleasing brand of football during his time in charge of Bournemouth, which suggests that Sorinola would be the ideal signing at left-back. He is comfortable with the ball at his feet, completing 83% of his passes, while he loves to bomb forward.
Speaking about Sorinola earlier this term, Martin hailed the 20-year-old’s aggressive but calming nature, saying: “He’s technically right up there with anyone in the squad – he wants to play. I love his calmness too – for a young lad, he’s so composed.
“He defended really well. People may question his size but when you’re as brave as he is to play with the ball and get in people’s faces and shut them down, he has so much ability and potential.”
AND in other news, Howe set to be dealt big Celtic blow before he’s even arrived, McKay surely fuming…