Celtic must sign 6ft1 brute who won 177 aerials this term, Howe dubbed him “excellent” – opinion

Celtic must sign 6ft1 brute who won 177 aerials this term, Howe dubbed him “excellent” – opinion

With Eddie Howe approaching his Celtic coronation, the Hoops can finally begin preparing for the upcoming summer transfer window.

Until a new manager had arrived, it appeared impossible for the Bhoys to be able to plan who was coming or going.

What’s the word?

Unsurprisingly, we’ve seen a number of Howe’s former players linked with a move to Celtic.

Everton striker Joshua King has been in their crosshairs while Jack Wilshere has even been mentioned in the same breath as the Bhoys.

The most realistic option could be in defence where 30-year-old Steve Cook has been touted with a Howe reunion.

Following Bournemouth’s failure to get promoted, it could open the door for him to arrive at Parkhead.

That’s the word of Dean Windass who spoke exclusively to Football FanCast this week: “In terms of bringing Bournemouth players in, only time will tell. Yes, with Steve Cook and players like that, now they’re in the Championship, would Celtic be appealing to them? Without a shadow of doubt (with) the size of the football club.”

Natural leader

With Scott Brown heading to Aberdeen, Celtic will be in need of finding more players with leadership skills, individuals who are of captaincy material.

In Cook, Howe could find his perfect player.

The centre-back is currently the skipper of Bournemouth and leads by example with some titanic performances in the middle of defence.

This would help to kill two birds with one stone. Not only do Celtic need to find a new captain, but they could also do with someone who can improve their defence.

If there is one area to focus criticism on it’s in their backline. They shipped 16 more goals than Rangers in the Premiership this season, bemoaning some amateur mistakes.

You only need to look at the way they succumbed to a 4-1 defeat to their biggest rivals in the closing weeks of the season to understand how far the gap is.

Cook would give them a sterner resolve at the back and could complement someone like Kristoffer Ajer impeccably.

The Norwegian is a ball-playing defender by trade but Cook is the definition of a no-nonsense centre-half.

For Bournemouth this season, he won a whopping 177 aerial duels at a rate of 4.1 per game. That’s a staggering number but demonstrates exactly what he’d bring to Paradise; brute force and the ability to beat any striker in the air.

Described as “excellent” by Howe, Cook has played under the 43-year-old on 302 occasions. Thus, if the English manager is looking to find someone he’s familiar with, there are few better players.

They know what to expect from each other and the 6 foot 1 defender will provide Celtic with more leadership; this feels like a no-brainer for the Hoops hierarchy.

AND in other news, Celtic can axe Christie by signing 20-goal beast, Strachan dubbed him a “great talent”…