Crystal Palace and Newcastle United are being linked with a January transfer move for Celtic defender Jozo Simunovic.
With the continued absence of both Scott Dann and Pape Souare having an adverse effect on the Eagles’ results of late, it’s little surprise to see them being linked with New Year moves for defensive reinforcements, particularly those with as much potential as the aforementioned Celtic man.
Whilst some may question why a player of such supposed class is playing his trade in the SPL, the story surrounding Simunovic is far from straightforward. Having impressed many across the continent over the last 12 months it had looked as though he may have been on his way out of Glasgow over the summer, only for luck to conspire against him.
Indeed, new Bhoys boss Brendan Rodgers has openly discussed the admiration he has for the Croatian’s game, previously describing him as a defender with a “dominant” style of play and a “wonderful” mentality for someone so young. That being said, the draw of English football in direct comparison to Scotland could leave the reigning Scottish champions struggling to keep hold of Simunovic if either Palace or Newcastle do formalise their interest as January approaches.
Plenty have been quick to question whether or not those who flourish north of the border possess the sort of game necessary to perform well in the Premier League but in this particular instance, we need only look towards former Celtic central defender Virgil van Dijk as proof of a healthy transition between the two leagues. Now a full Holland international, the 25-year-old has become a pivotal part of the Southampton back four since relocating in the summer of 2015, giving hope that the likes of Simunovic can easily follow in his sizeable footsteps.
We’ll keep an eye on the story in the coming weeks in case there are any further developments.