Celtic’s search for a left back this season appears to be the worst kept secret in Scottish football, yet the actual target for Celtic at this time is lacking any real substance.
The Hoops were linked with Hammarby’s Iraqi international left back Mohanad Jeahze, however Ange Postecoglou appeared to not even recognise the name of the player when quizzed at a recent press conference.
Whether that’s the case or not, and perhaps Postecoglou is just keeping his cards close to his chest, remains to be seen, however there has been a further report of Celtic’s interest in procuring competition for Greg Taylor next season, in the shape of Argentinian Under 23 international Francisco Ortega, with Stephen McGowan from Scottish Daily Mail reporting the Velez Sarsfeld defender received ‘positive’ scouting reports.
Of course, there is a long road to travel from scouting to signing a player, but Ortega does look an interesting talent.
The full back only turned 23 in March, and already has 91 appearances – and 10 assists – under his belt with his club, with Copa Libertadores experience as well as domestic Argentinian domestic performances already bagged.
The player also has some level of versatility in his armoury, and whilst 80 of his appearances have come in his favoured left back spot, Ortega has also performed eight times at left midfield and a further three times as a left winger, something that may well appeal to Ange Postecoglou.
At international level the player has a further 15 appearances made, 12 of which came at Under 20 level, but more recently two more for the Argentina under 23 side, before his inclusion in the Argentina Olympic squad also saw him pick up a cap there, and that would certainly indicate that at club and international level Ortega is making steady progress for one so young.
If Celtic are interested in moving from scouting reports to firm interest in Francisco Ortega very much remains to be seen, but the player himself certainly looks on an upward career trajectory, both with Velez Sarsfield and with his national team and this could well be one worth keeping an eye on.
— Ekrem KONUR (@Ekremkonur) May 21, 2022
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