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Celtic: Greg Taylor targeted as potential replacement for Kieran Tierney

Celtic: Greg Taylor targeted as potential replacement for Kieran Tierney - Celtic

Celtic have lined up Kilmarnock left-back Greg Taylor as a possible signing to replace Kieran Tierney, who completed his move to Arsenal on Thursday.

The Daily Record reported that Scotland international Taylor is on the Hoops’ wish list and is “under serious consideration” as a transfer target, although they are not the only team with an eye on the 21-year-old.

According to the Daily Record, German second tier club FC Nurnberg are also in the hunt for the Kilmarnock man and have already had two bids rejected by the Rugby Park club but could lodge another offer.

Despite not turning 22 until next November, Taylor has already accrued a wealth of experience at Kilmarnock, with 128 appearances for the club, scoring once and providing 10 assists.

That is not too far behind the 170 Celtic appearances that Tierney, who is exactly five months older, recorded before his departure from the Scottish champions.

Taylor’s performances for Kilmarnock last season saw him rewarded with a call-up to the senior Scotland squad in June and he made his debut in the Euro 2020 qualifying defeat to Belgium two months ago, filling the void left by injuries to Tierney and captain Andrew Robertson.

Although the Scots lost that game 3-0, manager Steve Clarke (who also worked with Taylor at Kilmarnock) lauded the left-back’s performance, with the Sunday Post quoting him as saying: “I thought [Taylor’s] performance was excellent from start to finish.

“It was a big ask for him but I know his temperament, I know his character. He showed everyone that he was deserving of his start that he got.”

Last season, Taylor won 4.11 aerial duels per game and recorded a match average of 4.72 interceptions. Tierney’s match averages were 4.06 interceptions and just 2.69 successful aerial duels, hinting that the Kilmarnock defender is stronger in the air and more astute at breaking up play than Arsenal’s new signing [statistics from Wyscout, via Herald Scotland].

Taylor is not quite as adept as Tierney for attacking attributes, though. His passing accuracy of 74.2% is far inferior to the ex-Celtic man’s 81.9%, while Taylor only recorded 0.75 successful dribbles per game to Tierney’s 3.43 [statistics from Wyscout, via Herald Scotland].

Taylor has room to improve some of the attack-minded aspects of his game, and he needs to sharpen up the accuracy of his passing.

However, with Boli Bolingoli quickly earning a reputation as a left-back who loves to get forward, as highlighted by Jonathan McFarlane of Football Scotland, Taylor’s defensive solidity could be the ideal alternative to the Belgian’s apparent deficiencies in this regard – Bolingoli admitted last month that he needs to improve defensively, as reported by the Irish Examiner.

Therefore, he seems exactly like the type of player Celtic should be targeting, especially with Bolingoli and the largely untested Calvin Miller now the only left-backs in Neil Lennon’s squad.

Celtic fans, would Taylor be the perfect left-back replacement for Tierney and would he be an upgrade on Bolingoli? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Article title: Celtic: Greg Taylor targeted as potential replacement for Kieran Tierney

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