Fabrizio Romano – Carl Starfelt ‘One to Watch’ for Summer Move to England

When Celtic signed Alastair Johnston from CF Montreal it was clearly in advance of Josip Juranovic moving on. And when Hyeongyu Oh joined the club from Suwon Bluewings, it was a case of the South Korean being in place prior to Giorgos Giakoumakis making his move to the more ‘competitive’ environment of Major League Soccer.

Celtic v FK Jablonec – Carl Starfelt during the UEFA Europa Conference League third qualifying round, second leg match at Celtic Park, Thursday August 12, 2021. Photo Jeff Holmes

Such moves possibly highlight some genuine succession planning emerging at Celtic these days, as Ange Posteoglou drags Celtic at long last into the modernised new century we had seemed to ignore for far too long.

And if so, today’s tweet from transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano may be worth paying some attention to.

‘Celtic central defender Carl Starfelt, one to watch in the summer as Premier League clubs are following him as possible option for next window. Scottish club will try to keep him as he’s considered an important player for Celtic.’

Celtic of course signed a left-sided and left-footed centre back in Yuki Kobayashi in January, and he’s already had some gametime, and caught the eye. Yet it would appear on the face of it a tough ask for the Japanese defender to dislodge Carl Starfelt from a central defence where he has built up a wonderfully solid partnership with Cameron Carter-Vickers.

Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt celebrate the winning goal against theRangers at Ibrox. IMAGO / Shutterstock. Photo by Luke Nickerson/

However, Romano’s assertion today that Carl Starfelt is attracting admiring glances from the EPL, may make us look to the possibility Starfelt could be the next of Celtic’s apparently established players to move on. And if so, it looks like Kobayashi – much like Johnston and Oh – may have been brought in not simply as a defensive back-up but also to ensure a smooth defensive transition going forward.

Carl Starfelt has been an impressive signing since joining Celtic from Rubin Kazan in a deal worth £4.3m. Defensively there are few better at defending the box than Starfelt, although some will point to his awkwardness on the ball as something Celtic could improve upon.

If Romano is right and Celtic are preparing themselves for bids in the summer for the Swedish international, it likely points to that warning Ange Postecoglou gave us all during the last transfer window, where he used words like ‘agile and ‘aggressive’ as descriptors and warned that perhaps supporters may wish not to become too attached to their favourites.

Of Course, Fabrizio Romano doesn’t always get things right and it should be remembered much of his information comes from player agents and representatives rather than the clubs themselves, and it should also be noted his current assertion is that Celtic – at present – are keen to keep Carl Starfelt at the club.

Yet, Celtic have clearly been aware of players wishing to leave Celtic, and the January signings showed we were willing to do business if players had other locations in mind for their football career.

Was Yuko Kobayashi brought in with a view to having a bedding in period before replacing Carl Starfelt? Or is Fabrizio Romano barking up the wrong tree with this one?

Time will tell of course, but breaking up the best defensive partnership in Scottish football would be a big gamble for any manager to make, but Ange Postecoglou isn’t exactly one to shy away from taking a risk.

Niall J

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As a Bellshill Bhoy I was taken to my first Celtic game in the summer of 1987. It was Billy McNeill’s return to Celtic Park as manager and Celtic lost 5-1 to Arsenal . I thought I was a jinx, I think my Grandfather might have thought the same. It was the finest gift anyone ever gave me when he walked me through Parkhead's gates.

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