Red Bull Salzburg defender Gideon Mensah is set to decide in the next 24 hours whether he will join Celtic or move to another prospective suitor.
According to GhanaSoccerNet.com, Mensah will be loaned out by his parent club in order to obtain more regular first team experience, having attracted interest from Barcelona that came to nothing after the club couldn’t agree on a deal.
The Scottish Sun reported that the Ghanaian left-back is seeking more regular gametime as he is being kept out of his current club’s line-up by captain Andreas Ulmer.
He has yet to play a competitive first team game for Red Bull Salzburg, having made seven UEFA Youth League appearances for their under-19 side, although an impressive performance against Real Madrid in a recent friendly put him on the radar of several clubs, as claimed by GhanaSoccerNet.com.
He spent the second half of last season on loan at fellow Austrian Bundesliga club Sturm Graz, making 15 appearances in total.
While Mensah’s minimal first team experience makes it difficult to form a definitive judgement of his abilities, video footage of the defender on GhanaSoccerNet.com [via Red Bull Salzburg Fan TV] gives some insight to his qualities.
The footage shows the left-back frequently marauding up the touchline to provide an outlet for his attacking team-mates, as well as winning a multitude of aerial duels and demonstrating an ability to switch the play with accurate diagonal passes and wriggle away from opponents with clever footwork.
Celtic have already signed one left-back from the Austrian Bundesliga this summer, bringing in Boli Bolingoli from Rapid Vienna.
The 24-year-old Belgian played 42 times for the club last season and scored twice. He has so far made 10 appearances for the Hoops. [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]
With Mensah playing just 15 games in the Austrian top flight and utilised only in friendlies by Red Bull Salzburg, he seems like quite a raw prospect, albeit one with a well-rounded skill set.
Also, with Bolingoli making errors that have led to the concession of goals and Calvin Miller struggling for gametime at Celtic, the left-back area is one where Neil Lennon clearly feels he can strengthen.
A possible loan deal for Mensah seems like a speculative punt, but he has shown glimpses of what he can offer and the absence of a transfer fee should very much make it a low-risk move worth making for the Hoops.
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