Celtic and Rangers were both active in last month’s transfer window, strengthening their squads in the midst of an exciting SPL title race.
And that activity included the Bhoys’ signing of Jeremy Toljan, who arrived at Celtic Park on loan until the end of the season from Borussia Dortmund.
How, though, does the German compare to his Rangers counterpart James Tavernier, one of the leading right-backs in Scottish football’s top flight?
After impressing for Germany at the 2016 Summer Olympics and 2017 U21 European Championship, Toljan started to attract a host of interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubs including Chelsea.
Antonio Conte saw the former Germany U21 international as the perfect profile of player for his 3-4-3 system as he looked to improve his Premier League winning side at right wing-back, reported Goal.
For whatever reason, though, a deal did not materialise. But what is Chelsea’s loss, is now Celtic’s gain with Toljan certainly capable of bringing much to Celtic Park following his recent move from Dortmund.
The 24-year-old is very strong and quick and, like most full-backs today, excels when going forward, thriving once arriving in the opposition’s defensive third.
In terms of where he can improve, positioning and decision-making are areas of Toljan’s game that need some work. But, overall, the Dortmund loanee looks to be a clever capture for Celtic.
TT Grade: B+
Like Toljan, Tavernier is very good going forward and has shown as much since joining Rangers from Wigan back in 2015.
Over the last few seasons, the 27-year-old has made a lot of goal contributions for a defender, albeit mostly from set pieces, which has seen him become such an important player in this Rangers team.
Defensively, Tavernier will be the first one to tell you improvement is needed if he is to become a more well-rounded full-back.
However, even with some deficiencies in that area of his game, the Rangers captain remains a hugely influential figure and one capable of having a massive impact on matches.
TT Grade: A-
Even if it is on a short-term basis, the deal to bring in Toljan was a smart one by Celtic. Brendan Rodgers has a gem of a full-back on his hands in the former Hoffenheim man.
If he can make even half the impact Tavernier has made in the SPL during his short stint in Scotland, then Celtic Park could be in for a real treat.
Toljan, albeit not arguably as experienced as Tavernier, can challenge the Rangers skipper for that No.1 right-back honour in Scottish football’s top division this season.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!