The transfer window looks to be heating up for Celtic now with news expected on some signings soon, with moves for Jota and Alexandro Bernabei only believed to be a matter of when and not if. On the other hand, one potential target has been earning rave reviews from Lawrence Shankland, who has faced him twice in recent times.
Vinicius Souza had been playing for KV Mechelen in the Belgian Jupiler Pro League on loan last season, from second division side Lommel SK. He has been a particular stand out in recent times, and has been linked with some big clubs all around Europe, including Celtic, on the back of his recent performances.
Shankland, a former Dundee United player and Scotland international, is now with Beerschot and seems to remember the Brazilian midfielder well from playing against him a couple of times last season.
As reported by the Daily Record, Shankland said about Souza:
“I remember playing against Souza. He’s hard to miss as he’s a tall, athletic guy who makes an instant impression on you as he’s a bit of a machine.
“We played Mechelen twice and both times we struggled. They’re a good side and Souza is a big part of how they play as he sits in front of the defence and dominates in that area.
“We struggled in the two games against them and in both games he performed well. He does the simple things well.
“The role he performed was as a holding player in the midfield. He doesn’t over-complicate things, he just keeps things ticking over and moving the ball forward.
“He looked technically very good and is a good reader of the game. He puts me in mind of Nir Bitton.
“It would make sense that Celtic are looking for that type of player now that Bitton has moved on. Celtic will have been impressed as he’s had a good season in Belgium and clubs have clearly taken notice.
“Souza has a similar type of stature to Bitton and looks more than capable of going into Celtic and doing a similar job to the one Bitton carried out.”
Celtic told why they must make move for Brazilian midfielder
That type of player would be a good fit for a gap in the current Celtic squad, especially after Nir Bitton’s departure at the end of last season. There are some options already at the club through the likes of Ismaila Soro, James McCarthy and Yosuke Ideguchi but they haven’t been able to hold down a regular place.
Ideguchi may well get more game time if his injury worries are behind him, Soro seems unlikely to remain at the club next season and there are still question marks over McCarthy. So strengthening in midfield makes a lot of sense, especially in preparation for facing top class opposition in the Champions League, when Celtic would be likely to have much less of the ball than they normally do against domestic opponents.
If Souza is to come and play for Celtic, then it would most likely be on a short term loan deal rather than a permanent one, considering the fact that Lommel SK are believed to rate him at a transfer fee around £8 million.
This article was originally posted here