Last August it seemed Celtic had secured a top young defensive talent. Ajax Cape Town announced that the South Africa international centre-back Rivaldo Coetzee had agreed a deal to join Celtic.
The move was pending a medical and work permit, both of which were expected to be successful for Celtic.
Celtic would have paid a fee reported to be in the region of £800,000 for the player, according to Goal. However, the move soon collapsed.
As reported by the BBC, a medical discovered an issue with Coetzee’s right foot and the plug was pulled on a transfer. Ten days later, with Ajax CT no longer a welcome environment he switched to fellow South African outfit Mamelodi Sundowns.
The injury proved to be more serious than anyone anticipated and the player Brendan Rodgers had labelled an ‘outstanding young player’ has spent over a year on the sidelines. His career was in threat and corrective surgery was needed.
At the weekend, he returned to league action in South Africa. It was his first appearance in the competition since the 19th August 2017.
Now, his coach Pitso Mosimane has made it clear that Coetzee should be heading to Europe soon because of his immense talents.
“It’s sad to see this boy not playing football. He deserves to play in Europe, to be honest.”
Celtic should, therefore, start considering a return for his services. Coetzee is a supremely talented player, who clearly deserves a chance in Europe.
With Filip Benkovic only on loan and Celtic fearing the worst regarding Dedryck Boyata’s future, a centre-back might be needed.
If Coetzee can prove his fitness over the next few months then perhaps Celtic should consider a return bid.