Going into the summer transfer window, Celtic knew they needed to strengthen their defence. And they did just that by signing Cameron Carter-Vickers on a permanent basis from Tottenham Hotspur, after his exceptional loan spell last season, and have also added Moritz Jenz on loan from Ligue 1 side Lorient with an option to buy included in the deal. On the other hand, it is still unclear whether Christopher Jullien will stay or leave.
Thus, at this point of time, the club have five potential options at centre-back. Carl Starfelt is out injured but is expected to be back in action soon. On the other hand, Stephen Welsh made a bright start to the season, by scoring and keeping a clean sheet in the opening game against Aberdeen.
But Charlie Nicholas believes that the club need another left-sided centre-back, especially with the Champions League group stage coming up.
I still feel the team still needs another left-sided central defender, especially if they want to make a real impression in the group stages of Europe’s top club competition. I know Ange has Carl Starfelt and brought in Moritz Jenz for Lorient, who can play there, but I would prefer a natural left-sided player, somebody who is comfortable on the ball and good at playing out.
I would like to see him go for a quality and experienced central defender, even if it is only on loan. The player I would try and get would be Pablo Mari at Arsenal. The Spaniard is experienced, is naturally left-sided, is a real presence and is a good, good player. The fact he is at Arsenal and had previously been at Manchester City shows the sort of quality Mari has. I know he has had loan spells at both clubs but he was out at Udinese last season and that again shows the level he is at.
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What Nicholas is saying does make sense. Other than Starfelt, the club do not have a left-footed centre-back in their squad right now. Having another option would be a huge help for Ange Postecoglou, especially with the style of football that he wants Celtic to play.
But on the other hand, there are other positions which are in more immediate need that centre-back at this point of time. The club need a physical defensive midfielder and could do with more options up front and on the wings as well.
Thus, with five centre-backs already at Parkhead, it is hard to see them moving for another one in the coming weeks unless something drastic does not end up happening. That being said, Mari would be a solid signing.
This article was originally posted here