With the news today that Gustaf Lagerbielke has official signed for Celtic on a five-year deal from current Swedish league leaders IF Elfsborg, he joins the club as not only Rodgers sixth summer signing but also as the sixth first team centre back.
The Swedish international will hope to follow in the footsteps of his fellow countryman such as Henrik Larsson and Mikel Lustig who left a lasting legacy in Glasgow’s East End.
The 23-year-old joins a Celtic side not short of quality centre-half’s, with Cameron Carter Vickers, Maik Nawrocki and Stephen Welsh his likely competitors for a starting berth.
Using data from the popular scouting tool Wyscout provided by @SellikStats on twitter, when compared to his counterparts in the Swedish top tier, Lagerbielke ranks as one of the best centre half’s in the Allsvenskan.
Raking in the 100th percentile in headed goals and successful dribbles, the six-foot three centre back will add a needed goal threat at set pieces for Celtic.
His passing stats are also very promising, ranking in the 100th percentile in long passes and in the 80th percentile for accuracy in completing those long passes.
Lagerbielke ranks in the 84th percentile for passes to the final third when compared to others in the Allsvenskan, he attains a score of just 30% in accurate passes into the final third.
For a Celtic side under the tutelage of Brendan Rodgers, he will of course look for his centre backs to play out from the back.
However, Rodgers likes his sides to build up slower and in a safer manner, which will instruct Lagerbielke to be safer in possession and likely not attempt as many aggressive passes into the final third.
The Swede’s defensive stats do not hinder his ability to play out from the back either, with Lagerbielke scoring 80% in successful defensive actions and winning 75% of his defensive duels as well, something he will have to rank highly in to replace the recently departed Carl Starfelt.
The Swedish ball playing defender will fit in well into Celtics possession orientated, slow build up style of play under Rodgers.
Lagerbielke’s profile is exactly the type of player Celtic have targeted and had success with since the arrival of Mark Lawwell, as he follows the path his fellow countryman have laid out for him in the East End of Glasgow.