Having been held 1-1 at home by AEK Athens on Wednesday night, Celtic’s hopes of qualifying for the group stages of the Champions League lay in the balance, with a big performance needed in the return leg in Greece next week.
Failure to make it through this round or the one that follows could have serious repercussions for the Scottish giants’ ability to strengthen their squad, both financially and in terms of attracting the sort of players who can come in and improve the team.
One man capable of making a real impact at Celtic Park and who is desperate to seal a move away from Stamford Bridge before the end of August is Danny Drinkwater, with the Blues’ acquisitions of Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic further restricting his playing time.
A shock Premier League title winner with Leicester back in 2015/16, the former Manchester United youngster missed only three top-flight matches for the Foxes during that stunning campaign, including one of only a trio of defeats that they suffered along the way:
|CLUB Leicester City||AGE 28Y 5M|
|POS MID||HEIGHT 5FT 10IN|
Avg Goal for
Avg Goals against
Mins per goal for
Mins per goal against
Shots for per game
Points per game
Since moving to Chelsea, however, the 28-year-old has been chronically underutilised, making a mere 12 appearances in the Premier League and watching his chances of playing for England at the World Cup fall by the wayside.
Although a permanent move for the tough-tackling, ball-playing central midfielder would be out of the question, a season-long loan deal has to be seen as a possibility, though Celtic would unlikely be willing to contribute more than £25,000 to his £90,000 per week wages:
|Leicester City||Leicester City|
|MID 28Y 5M 5FT 10IN||MID 28Y 5M 5FT 10IN|
Aug 2014 - May 2017
Goals with feet
Goals with head
Minutes per goal
Having clocked up 78 top-flight appearances and a further ten on the continental stage during his time with the Foxes, Drinkwater would certainly bring experience to the middle of the park, but Celtic must be able to offer Champions League football if they are to attract him.
The Acca Smacker
For fans across the continent, the excitement is building. A new season is here and optimism is rife. Will new signings stun? Will titles be won? Everyone hopes, but nobody knows. Domestic football’s back, and we could be happier.
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