Football

Predicting the Two Remaining Positions Brendan Rodgers Says He Wants to Strengthen

Predicting the Two Remaining Positions Brendan Rodgers Says He Wants to Strengthen

Brendan Rodgers spoke following Celtic‘s win over Motherwell last night about strengthening two more positions before the end of the summer transfer window.

He had just watched his Hoops team batter the Steelmen 5-0 at Parkhead to book a spot in the quarter finals of the Betfred Cup.

They got a big hand from summer signings Moussa Dembele and Scott Sinclair, with the former scoring two while the other got one in a man of the match performance.

But Rodgers admitted post-match that he still plans to be active in the market and has his eye on strengthening two positions before the window shuts at the end of this month.

Asked by Chris Sutton if he wanted to add more new players following the signings of Dembele, Sinclair and Kolo Toure, Rodgers answered: “I do – I would want two in order to get a lot closer to where I want to be as a team.”

Sutton, not shy, was quick to ask what positions, but Rodgers was tight-lipped as he replied: “I’ll keep that to myself. I just think there are two positions on the field that will make a big difference for us in terms of how we’re working at the moment.

“The boys have been brilliant, I’ve got to say. How they’ve adapted to how I want them to play, to press, to work, the aggression in the game has been first class.

“But, to help them in this first window, if I can get two more in that the club know that I want – and the club have been great in terms of trying to get in the types that I want.

“If I can get that before the window shuts then we’ve had a really, really good market in terms of getting players in and we’ll be ready to really go on for the rest of the season.”

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So it begs the question – where does Rodgers want to strengthen?

While everyone will have their view, we’ve taken a stab at predicting the two positions Rodgers wants to strengthen in and who could be on his shortlist to sign before the window closes.

First up, another right back..

Why? Well it’s not abundantly clear how Celtic are going to shape up in that position throughout Rodgers’ first season in charge of the club. Saidy Janko, pictured above, looks like a totally different player under the Northern Irishman, impressing so far this season with his powerful and pacy displays from deep. But is he reliable defensively – especially when Celtic come to play tough games domestically and in Europe? If Janko doesn’t play then Mikael Lustig is a realistic option to – and he may even be Rodgers’ first choice? But he’s played centre back on more than one occasion so far this term and can certainly contribute there while a number of defenders recover from injury setbacks. Of all the positions on the park, Rodgers may see right back as the one he needs to sign a quality defensive and attacking player for.

Who could that be? Well, he’s already been linked with a move for Liverpool full back Andre Wisdom, who is unlikely to feature under Jurgen Klopp this term. Rodgers gave Wisdom his debut at the Anfield giants and may see him as a reliable option who could arrive at the club on loan. If it’s not Wisdom then Briston City’s Luke Ayling has also been mentioned.

Moving on the next position – centre midfield..

Scott Brown looks on his way back to his best form if recent performances against Hearts and Motherwell are anything to go by. But even that’s a doubt considering how difficult he’s found performing at a high level over the last 12 months. We reckon Rodgers is more concerned about who’s going to partner his captain – with Callum McGregor currently getting the nod while Nir Bitton sits out injured. There are a number of other players who can operate next to Brown, such as Tom Rogic, Stuart Armstrong, Liam Henderson, Kristoffer Ajer and Stefan Johansen – but some are either suited to playing further forward or appear on their way out of the club. Even McGregor looks like he’d be better suited to playing further forward, with his quality on the ball unquestioned, but ability to impose himself on the game questionable. So that leaves just Brown and Bitton as the real sitting midfield options available to Rodgers – and surely he’d want more than that?

That’s why we fancy the Celtic manager to move for another sitting midfielder before the window shuts. As for who that may be, it’s a little more difficult to predict. Linking him with another former player, Lucas Leiva appears out of favour at Liverpool with a £2.5million move to Galatasaray having broken down. Celtic could afford a £2.5m fee, but a big stumbling block may be the Brazilian’s wages. It’s certain that he’d cope in one of the sitting positions in the Hoops midfield though. Other names who could fit are Leon Britton, of Swansea, and Hibs midfielder John McGinn.

The reason we’ve picked out right back and centre midfield as the positions to strengthen is because Rodgers has already strengthened some of the other weaker areas in the team. Toure has helped at centre back, while Sinclair is a special wide option and Dembele is the perfect back-up/partner for Leigh Griffiths. As for the rest of the team, Craig Gordon, Kieran Tierney, Brown, Patrick Roberts and Griffiths are all stick-ons to play when fit.

But what’s your view – where will Rodgers strengthen?

Let us know in the comments below..


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