According to a recent report from The Daily Express, Celtic could face a battle to retain the services of striker Moussa Dembele beyond Friday’s deadline. The 22-year-old made the move to Parkhead back in 2016 after impressing at Championship side Fulham, and he has since gone from strength to strength in helping Brendan Rodgers’ men win back-to-back domestic trebles.
Yet reports suggest that French side Lyon are keen on the striker, and manager Rodgers simply has to be prepared to replace the linked-away France Under-21 international, and he must do so by moving for £2.25 million-rated Premier League ace Jermain Defoe (as per Transfermarkt).
Ultimately, Dembele’s goals have played as big a part as any in helping Celtic win back-to-back domestic trebles, what with the striker netting 32 times in his first season at Parkhead to help Rodgers’ side to an unbeaten season in the Scottish Premiership, eventually accumulating 106 points from their 38 games.
And the Frenchman proved his worth again last time round in bagging 16 goals in all competitions for the Bhoys as they defended all three domestic trophies, while three goals already this term suggests that Dembele will again be a vital player for Rodgers’ side in their quest to continue their domination of football north of the border.
Take those many goals out of the side though, and Celtic will certainly struggle in their bid to again defend those crowns, and that is why, if Dembele is to indeed leave before Friday’s deadline, Rodgers has to be prepared by moving for Bournemouth’s Defoe.
The 35-year-old has proven to be one of the best strikers in the Premier League during his long career at the top level, what with the England international netting 163 times in 493 appearances in the English top-flight, and for a variety of different clubs.
The forward was excellent over two spells at Tottenham and in between those stints produced the goods for Portsmouth, before single-handedly keeping Sunderland in the Premier League back in the 2015/16 season, although his tally of 15 goals the campaign after wasn’t enough to prevent their relegation – ultimately, he has proven his credentials at pretty much every club he has played for.
And with the predatory instincts to get into positions in the box, and thus deliver the goods in turning home chance after chance, it’s clear that Defoe would be a huge asset to Rodgers’ side in the final third of the pitch, especially if Dembele is to indeed leave this summer.
And with the Englishman struggled for regular football under Eddie Howe at Bournemouth, the door may well be open for Celtic to make a move for the prolific hotshot in the last knockings of the summer window.
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