Celtic have been linked with a move for Liverpool defender Andre Wisdom, with new manager Brendan Rodgers already starting to prepare for his first season in Scottish football.
According to widespread reports in the media, Wisdom is apparently available for a fairly reasonable fee of £3 million, which is pretty low by English Premier League standards.
But whilst fans will obviously be keen to see new faces arrive at Parkhead, is Wisdom the answer? And how excited should everyone be at the impending transfer?
We look at the pros and cons surrounding the move:
Versatile Defensive Cover
The one area in Celtic’s team that is in need of surgery most this summer is unquestionably the defence.
Serious doubts remain over the future of Belgian centre-back Dedryck Boyata, and Jozo Simunovic spent most of his first season in Glasgow in the treatment table. Not only that, but vice captain Mikael Lustig has struggled with a wide variety of fitness issues ever since joining the club several years ago, and at with his 30th birthday arriving later this year, the look to be taking their toll.
Wisdom is just 23, and unquestionably has his best years ahead of him. He’s predominantly a right-back, but can cover in the centre as well.
Surely there’s a good chance he can only improve the squad as it stands?
Experience Beyond His Years
He may have just turned 23, but Wisdom has already experienced life at some pretty big clubs in English football, and played under some of the continent’s most high-profile managers.
He was given his Liverpool debut by Kenny Dalglish, and obviously played under Rodgers in the Premier League.
He was a stalwart in the Derby County side that reached the Championship play-off final under Steve McLaren in 2014, losing the final to QPR, and cemented himself as a Premier League player during another loan spell at West Brom the following season.
Although he spent the 2015/16 campaign on-loan at Norwich – where he played virtually every week in the top-flight – Wisdom will have also dealt with the eccentric and famed coaching techniques of Jurgen Klopp.
How many other full-backs can boast such a CV before turning 25?
Celtic’s Reputation For Devlopment
If Wisdom does sign for Celtic, he’ll join a cabal of impressive youngster – from both north and south of the border.
The likes of Stuart Armstrong, Ryan Christie, Scott Allan and Kieren Tierney are all exciting Scottish prospects all under 25, and Wisdom could join Patrick Roberts in becoming the latest English youth international.
If the Hoops can build up a reputation as being the go-to club if you’re a youngster in the UK, then who knows who else might be attracted to come.
Failed to Make the Grade
It’s definitely worth noting that despite being a player on Liverpool’s books for the last four seasons, not one of Dalglish, Rodgers or Klopp has believed he’s been ready to play every week for the Reds.
Whilst fellow youth team star Jon Flanagan was deemed good enough to compete with the Anfield club’s superstars whilst in his teens, Wisdom was sent out on several loans to work on his game.
It remains to be seen if he is genuinely ready to play for a genuinely big club.
Why Is He Available?
Despite playing for four different English clubs, it now appears that none of them are particularly bothered about having him.
His loan at Derby could have been made permanent, but Wisdom wanted to play in the Premier League, and he was given that opportunity at both West Brom and Norwich.
But should it be concerning that neither side want to sign him on a permanent deal? Or that Celtic appear to be the only club linked with his signature?
Lack of European Experience
As we all know, Celtic’s biggest games of the season come in July and August, as they attempt to reach the Champions League group stages.
Wisdom has England under-21 caps, and a several Europa League group stage appearances, but he has no real tangible experience of competing in a tense, European tie in front of 60,00 fans baying for your blood.
Last season’s defeat to Malmo was worryingly naive and if Celtic are going to shell out a sizeable portion of their transfer kitty, shouldn’t it be on a player who has some of that experience and know-how?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below…