Celtic scraped into the last-32 of the Europa League by the skin of their teeth last night after Rosenborg struck late to equalise in Leipzig.
A 2-1 defeat against RB Salzburg did not consign them to elimination in the end but Brendan Rodgers will know he has plenty of work to do if his side are to progress through the knockout stages of the competition.
Celtic were relatively short of ideas in the final-third last night and, despite losing the game, defensive performances particularly caught the eye.
Filip Benkovic was in inspired form once again in central defence, and he is already looking like an incredibly fine piece of business.
The consistency of his form has provoked some supporters to question whether he will return to Leicester in January, but former Celtic striker Scott McDonald seems to think he’ll be at Celtic Park for the remainder of the season.
Speaking on Good Morning Scotland (via BBC), Mcdonald discussed Rodgers’ January plans.
“Brendan has talked about strengthening in January and hopefully he will have two or three more in. Filip Benkovic looks as if he might stay until the end of the season, which is fantastic news.”
But McDonald believes there is one key permutation to Benkovic staying at the club, with Dedryck Boyata’s future once again on the agenda.
“If that happens, there is a possibility if Dedryck Boyata goes in January, that frees up even more money for Celtic to attack that transfer window.”
Boyata was heavily linked with a move away from Celtic in the summer, and with his contract due to expire in May 2019 a January move certainly seems plausible.
If Celtic are given the chance to sell Boyata and avoid the risk of losing him for nothing at the end of the season there’s no question it’s an opportunity they may be forced to take, especially with Benkovic’s tremendous form to consider.
But, as McDonald has alluded to, Benkovic’s return to Leicester would leave Celtic desperately short of quality options in central defence, leaving Rodgers with no choice but to keep Boyata until the end of the season.
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