Filip Benkovic is one of those players who makes the move to Celtic and makes Scottish football look oh so easy. The Croatian stopper is head and shoulders the best defender in the Scottish Premiership, and it looks inevitable that he will star for Leicester City in the Premier League, but not before the Bhoys get one more season out of him.
According to this article from The Daily Record it looks like Benkovic will be set to have one more year at Parkhead. The Bhoys have benefitted greatly from Brendan Rodgers opting to bring the defender to Glasgow on a season-long loan, and it seems Rodgers is set to do them one more favour by allowing the Croatian back to Celtic on-loan next season from his new role as the Leicester City manager.
Alongside Dedryck Boyata this season the Croatian has shone, and next season he could be set to be the man that steps up in the absence of his Belgian partner, even if a matter of months ago it looked like Benkovic would be the one who would need replacing. Now, though, it’s become apparent that Boyata will leave for free and Benkovic will be the man staying on at Parkhead.
It will be a loan move that will have Celtic Park rocking for the 2019/20 season, and with a new manager set to come in, having a solid defender like Benkovic holding the fort at one end of the pitch the Bhoys will be given a real boost as they push for nine in a row next season, with maybe even a quadruple-treble on the cards if the right manager comes in for the Hoops.
So what are the potential consequences of Celtic re-loaning Filip Benkovic?
Dedryck Boyata replacement secured
Don’t take this the wrong way, the Hoops will likely still need to go out and recruit a new defender. With Benkovic staying on for another year he will likely link up with Jozo Simunovic, the hero of the Billy McNeil tribute, as one half of the club’s first-choice centre-back pairing. However, him replacing Boyata will mean Benkovic steps up as the main man at the back for the Bhoys, something Boyata often does.
The Croatian stopper is the more impressive defender of the two out of himself and Boyata, but with the Belgian the more senior defender in the pairing and the one who has spent longer at Parkhead, he has been the man that the rest of the defence often looks to. Not for much longer, though, with one more league game and then the Scottish Cup final left, the responsibility for marshalling the backline will soon fall upon Benkovic, the readymade Boyata replacement.
This season, the Hoops have come to love Benkovic. ‘Big Ben’ as he’s affectionately known, is a top drawer defender. Celtic were lucky to be able to loan him in the first time around on the back of Leicester spending £13 million to prise him from Dynamo Zagreb. With one top quality season under his belt, it now seems that they’re going to be in raptures for one more season with him at the back in another loan.
The only news that would top this is if they could secure the signature if Benkovic on a permanent deal, but the money that the transfer would take would be too great for the Hoops to fork out. Brendan Rodgers will also be keen to get some use out of him at the King Power Stadium sooner or later, but until then he’s the Bhoys to enjoy and Parkhead will be bouncing with Big Ben at the back until next summer.
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