Celtic could use Lawal as leverage to sign Blackburn star

Celtic could use Lawal as leverage to sign Blackburn star…

Sammie Szmodics celebrates scoring his teams second goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City at Ewood Park on February 10, 2024 . (Photo by Gary Oakley/Getty Images)

Having had a few weeks to bask in the glory of another Scottish Premiership title success, Celtic fans will be starting to look forward to the season ahead.

A busy summer of sport will thankfully keep Hoops fans occupied, with Scotland’s participation in the 2024 European Championship a welcome bonus. Although Scotland are not the bookmakers’ favourites in the Euro 2024 betting, they will be looking to qualify for the knockout stages.

The club’s sizeable fanbase in Ireland will no doubt also be keeping a close eye on the NBA play-offs, where the Emerald Isle’s favourite sons the Boston Celtics are bidding for glory. However, despite the obvious attractions of these major sporting events, most Celtic supporters will be focusing their minds on the summer transfer window.

Having eventually powered clear of theRangers in the title race last season, Celtic will embark on another Champions League campaign next term. They were disappointing in the competition in 2023/24, picking up just four points from a possible 18 on their way to finishing bottom of a relatively favourable group.

A format change for next season could work in Celtic’s favour, particularly with UEFA predicting competing clubs will benefit from an increase in prize money. This presents Celtic with the perfect opportunity to strengthen their grip domestically and improve their hopes of progressing further in Europe.

The club made a healthy profit on their transfer dealings last summer, but they need to ‘speculate to accumulate’ this time around. While several players have been linked with a move to Paradise, a previous potential target appears to have dropped off the radar a little.

Sammie Szmodics shoots during the Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round match between Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United at Ewood Park on February 27, 2024  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Blackburn Rovers star Sammie Szmodics was linked with a move to Celtic earlier this year, but the trail appears to have gone cold in recent weeks. Despite this, the Championship Golden Boot winner is exactly the type of player manager Brendan Rodgers should be adding to the squad this summer.

According to Sky Sports pundit Don Goodman, the Republic of Ireland international has already reached his peak and is unlikely to improve in the future.

However, Goodman’s ill-informed comments fail to take into account that Szmodics is a late developer who still has plenty of scope to better himself. Given that Blackburn would likely demand a sizeable fee for Szmodics, he may end up being priced out of a move to any interested suitors in the Premier League.

This could open the door for Celtic, who potentially have a useful ace up their sleeve in the form of Irish youngster Bosun Lawal. The 21-year-old enjoyed a productive loan spell with League One club Fleetwood Town last season and has been touted for a move to the Championship this summer.

Queens Park Rangers, Derby County and Portsmouth have been named as potential landing spots for Lawal, but Blackburn could be a more viable option. His ability to play in defence and midfield would be a useful asset for a Rovers squad which desperately needs reinforcements in both positions.

While Brendan Rodgers has indicated that Lawal will be given the opportunity to make his mark at Celtic, another loan move could be a better option for him. Using him as an incentive for Blackburn to lower their demands for Szmodics could be a shrewd move if the Lancashire outfit are open to negotiating.

Handing them a decent fee would give them valuable funds to strengthen their squad, while Lawal’s arrival on loan would be an added bonus. Szmodics, who would probably jump at the chance to play for Celtic, unquestionably has the ability to be a massive hit in the Scottish Premiership.

This possible deal appears to have very few down sides for any of the parties and is one which Celtic should explore when the transfer window opens.

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  1. Wouldn’t Lawal’s ability to play in both defence and attack also be an asset to Celtic? Just a thought.

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