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Three Celtic players ready to make an impact at the World Cup this summer

Ruari Macneil



Celtic have always boasted a highly international line-up during the modern football era, with the squad usually being made up of players from as many as 15 different countries. Always with a strong Scottish, Irish and English representation, the club has developed the reputation for nurturing young talents from the African and Asian continents, as well as from the four corners of Europe.

As a result, there tends to be a strong Celtic representation at most European Championships and World Cups, and Russia 2018 is set to be no different.

With Sweden, Australia and Costa Rica all competing at this summer’s World Cup finals, there will be at least three Celtic players with a near certain chance of making it onto the pitch when July arrives, and the rest of the fan base will be watching intently.

The following trio of Hoops stars are those who will be hoping to impact the world’s largest footballing stage, after very mixed seasons on the domestic scene with their club.

Mikael Lustig

Mikael Lustig has had arguably his worst season to date in a Celtic shirt, having continually delivered sub-par performances compared to his usual consistent self. The Swedish veteran has come under a fair amount of criticism over the course of the year, with many calling for a new right-back to be brought in to the club with the eye to replace him. As a result, Lustig will definitely feel he has a point to prove in Russia this summer.

With 64 caps to his name, the 31-year-old is among the most experienced in the Sweden squad and, as Celtic’s vice-captain, his leadership qualities are well known. It will be a tough ask for Lustig and his defensive partners to keep the likes of Germany and Mexico at bay but, having faced the world’s best on plenty of occasions with Celtic, the full-back will be fully prepared for all that comes his way.

Tom Rogic

Along with Aaron Mooy, Tom Rogic is the player Australia will be looking towards to help lead their country’s charge towards qualification out of the group and into the knockout stages. Rogic has endured some injury problems this season. However, in the latter half of the campaign, he has looked back to his best with some stunning displays against Rangers in the big derby games.

Usually an attacking midfielder, the 25-year-old has been deployed up front on occasion for his country due to his versatility and is fairly experienced with 35 caps to his name. With the hopes of a nation lying on is shoulders, Rogic will be used to the type of pressure having played for the Hoops for the past six years, with every performance expected to end in a win.

Facing up against Denmark, France and Peru in group C, if things go their way, there is actually a chance that Australia could make it through.

Cristian Gamboa

Cristian Gamboa has barely kicked a ball for Celtic this season and, as a result, he will be looking to make the biggest impact out of the trio in Russia this summer, most likely showcasing his talents and playing for a move away from Glasgow. Unfortunately for the former West Brom star, Gamboa has slipped down the pecking order at Celtic Park, finding himself behind Lustig and academy graduate Anthony Ralston.

On occasions where both have been unavailable, we have seen the manager switch to a back three to allow James Forrest to play as a wing-back, which shows you just where Gamboa is in Celtic’s plans.

Nevertheless, Gamboa is still a near certain starter for Costa Rica, who really left their mark on the World Cup finals last time around. With 62 caps, and the experience of a World Cup quarter final penalty shoot out under his belt, Gamboa will be raring to go in June, facing up against some people’s tournament favourites Brazil along with Switzerland and Serbia in group E.


Life long lover of sport in general with a soft spot for football. A consistent defender of Scottish football as a spectacle. Desperately waiting to see my country qualify for a major tournament.


Celtic must not be undercut on £25m Kieran Tierney asking price

Everton were willing to pay £18 million for the Celtic defender, with the club wanting £25 million.

Mathew Nash



Earlier this summer Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney looked like being on his way to Everton. The Scottish international was being earmarked as a potential replacement for the aging Leighton Baines.

However, when it came down to matching Celtic’s asking price, Everton would not meet the amount the Bhoys were after. As reported by The Scottish Sun, Celtic wanted £25 million for Tierney. Everton were only willing to go as high as £18 million and pulled out of a deal, signing Lucas Digne from Barcelona instead.

Now, Celtic look set to have a fight on their hands to keep Tierney again in January. As reported by The Mirror, Tottenham Hotspur now want Tierney.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – JULY 18: Brendan Rodgers and Kieran Tierney of Celtic are seen during the UEFA Champions League Qualifier between Celtic and Alashkert FC at Celtic Park on July 18, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The report even claims Spurs are hoping to sign him at a cut-price deal of just £10 million, taking advantage of Celtic’s inability to qualify for the Champions League and the financial hit that caused.

Celtic must not budge on their high asking price for Tierney. He is an extremely talented left-back and the Bhoys would be selling themselves short, especially at just £10 million.

Perhaps there is wiggle room on a £25 million fee, but Celtic should not be taking a £15 million cut to move on their best talent.

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Three ins and outs Celtic could complete this week



Photo: Getty Images.

Crisis in Europe means that the pressure is on Celtic entering into the final full week of the transfer window for Scottish teams, with Brendan Rodgers looking for ways to strengthen his squad whilst also considering who may have to depart to balance the budget.

This could lead to some unexpected signings and departures, with these three some of those which may take place…

Kieran Tierney (Tottenham)

It seems unlikely a deal would go through this week, but the two clubs could come to an agreement ahead of a January move, particularly as the Mirror claim that the reason for the potential deal for just £10 million would be due to the club’s need to adjust budgets following Champions League failure.

Celtic will not want to sell the 21-year-old, particularly at such a low price, unless they really have to and it seems that the club’s situation is not quite that severe yet.

Douglas Luiz (Manchester City)

Brendan Rodgers was spotted at the Etihad to watch Manchester City face Huddersfield Town on Sunday and City Watch have speculated that his presence may have been to hold talks over a move for Douglas Luiz.

The Brazilian had a work permit application rejected to it is likely that he will leave the Citizens for elsewhere, but he could fulfill the requirements for SPL. Having spent last season on loan at Girona and with the good relationship between the two clubs, it could happen quickly.

Dedryck Boyata (Lyon)

The Scottish Sun stated that he was a target for Lyon, among several European clubs, earlier this summer but no deal has yet come to pass. A row over him declaring himself injured for a crucial fixture could prove to be the end of his Celtic career, whether his destination is Lyon or not.

“I had a long chat with Dedryck the other day. We have created a wee bit of distance from what happened last week. We will look at that over the weekend but Dedryck is still a Celtic player and I want to have him involved.”

Brendan Rodgers appears to be keen to put the fall out behind him.

Rodgers seems keen to retain his services though, so it could take an impressive offer in order to persuade him to part ways with the Belgian defender.

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Kieran Tierney interest shows Tottenham correcting transfer planning mistakes



Photo: Getty Images.

Tottenham could reap the benefits of their transfer dithering this summer as the Mirror say that they could save themselves £10 million. They report that Celtic may be forced to sell key man Kieran Tierney for just £10 million, with Tottenham interested, despite having put a £20 million price tag on his head earlier this summer.

Spurs were put off by that price tag but could now move for the Scottish international, saving themselves a tidy fee in the process. If the move does come off, it would be the first sign that Daniel Levy and co. are learning from their mistakes of the summer.

With doubts still surrounding the future of Danny Rose, Tierney could be the man to challenge Ben Davies at left-back after a questionable start to the season.

“Can he be the best in the world? Of course! He has lots of talent and just needs to focus and he can do it. He has the talent. Football is about talent but it’s more important to be professional.”

Team-mate Emilio Izaguirre rates him highly.

The 21-year-old, who has five years remaining on his contract at Celtic Park, would be a bargain at such a price too. A youngster with potential resale value too, he would fit in perfectly with the club’s transfer policy.

Whilst he lacks Premier League experience and has very limited experience of playing at a top level, Tierney has undoubted potential and has caught the eye of several teams, including Everton.

If Tottenham do act to sign Tierney, it would represent a correction of their mistakes in the summer. It may be a case of the right opportunity presenting itself, but signing young British talents at bargain prices is what Daniel Levy dreams of and Tierney would fit perfectly into that mould and may well be a Tottenham player sooner rather than later if these reports are to be believed.

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