Opinion: Celtic can both replace and upgrade on Dembele with Barbosa signing

Opinion: Celtic can both replace and upgrade on Dembele with Barbosa signing

Moussa Dembele left Celtic in a sticky situation when he departed Glasgow for Lyon on deadline day.

With the Frenchman’s transfer having gone down to the wire, Celtic could not find the time to bring in a replacement.

Manager Brendan Rodgers must now hope the likes of Odsonne Edouard, Leigh Griffiths and Scott Sinclair will be enough to see him through until January where the club can then look at bringing in a successor to Dembele.

And, when the time does come, Celtic should strongly consider making an ambitious move for Inter Milan’s Gabriel Barbosa, who is currently on loan at Santos.

Barbosa joined Inter Milan back in the summer of 2016 dubbed as the new Neymar. However, the Brazilian made little impact at the San Siro before being loaned out to Benfica — where he also struggled — and now finds himself back at Santos.

Despite his failings in Europe so far, £7.2m-rated (via Transfermarkt) Barbosa is still one of most technically gifted forwards Brazil has produced in recent years and is a player Celtic must pursue at all costs.

Barbosa is quick, able to dribble past defenders, create his own chances and is extremely versatile in attack.

The 22-year-old can play as a striker, second striker or on the right where he is able to cut in from with his left foot before firing a shot towards goal.

Make no mistake, Barbosa would bring much more to the team than Dembele.

By no means would it be a simple deal to pull off, though, but with Barbosa yet to prove himself in Europe, Celtic could be the perfect platform for him to finally get things up and running.

And, if the Brazil international can bring his Santos form to Celtic Park, then he would arrive as the signing that could finally help Celtic to make their mark in the Champions League or Europa League under Rodgers.

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