Benkovic and Ajer


Since picking up an injury at Celtic in January 2019, Filip Benkovic has completed five full league games, all for Bristol City.  The Leicester City player has made cup appearances, been used as an occasional substitute and seen lots of reserve football; there was only a short-term injury to mitigate the lack of game time in the intervening period.  This week his loan period at Cardiff City was terminated after his first and last appearance came against Wycombe a week ago.

He arrived on loan at Celtic in the summer of 2018 and looked every inch the 21-year-old prodigy.  He is 9 months older than Kristoffer Ajer and at that point was clearly more accomplished than our current most valuable defensive asset.

Kris has kicked on significantly in the years since, at 22, he is without doubt the best central defender to play in Scotland since Virgil van Dijk.  Filip will have earned more money than Kris, but even money will be no consolation, as unless he stages an unlikely turnaround at Leicester, his expected career earnings will be less than Kris’s.

There is a morality tale here, although it will be impossible for anyone to learn from it.  Filip left Dinamo Zagreb for the kind on money only available in England, irresistible to club and player.  His subsequent lack of progress will inhibit no one from following.

Having watched him perform, you and I know more about the player than most, there is certainly potential, although clearly there is more to the picture than was evident from his season at Celtic.  We have to assume people in Bristol and Cardiff saw a less impressive picture; potential is not always fulfilled.  Would you take him?  Of course you would, don’t even try to deny it.

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  1. Is that how desperate we have become.



    Do we actually have a scouting department or have they all been furloughed

  2. I would have him back, was impressed by him at the time.



    I do wonder about coaching at Celtic at the moment though, not convinced that (apart from Stevie Woods), we have the best coaches available. Therefore we might not be able to tease out that wee bit extra which distinguishes a great player from a merely good one.



    Cheers, H x 2 and HNY to y’all,




  3. Looked a very good player with us,but his attitude is questionable, we have enough problems right now….

  4. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    I would take him for sure, but we also need a ‘finished article’ between now and season’s end to play alongside Ajer to have any chance of winning the league.

  5. Melbourne Mick on

    MARTIM 1980



    Nice hat trick mate.


    H.H. Mick





    Not heard from you for yonks.


    H.H. Mick

  6. I would take a traffic cone over Duffy..but..this player couldn’t get in our team at the end of his loan spell .Something stinks.



    Another Paddy roberts i think.

  7. I said yesterday, leave Benkovic where he is, he didnt want to come here and was injured for a lengthy period of time so to answer your question your question Mr67 no I wouldnt take him, no doubt Rodgers wants Ajer so a deal will be done and this is Lawwell getting the word out.

  8. I liked Benkovic but I suspect the ship has sailed. Agree, worth a risk and certainly an upgrade on the awful Duffy.



    I love Ajer and we will miss him when he goes. An alleged ‘wantaway’ with great levels of professionalism.



    Nobody coming in for development reasons you’d think sadly given our coaching staff, so distressed purchases only this January.



    Incoming players is just a smokescreen for the managerial and coaching limbo we remain in.




  9. Lennon never played him ,when he took over from Rodgers in Feb 19.


    Why would he want him now. Couldn’t get a game at Cardiff.

  10. No point in bringing anyone in,we will have a new manager in a few months, but if anyone wants to go,bye…

  11. AN DÚN on 7TH JANUARY 2021 12:18 PM


    January review ? Anyone ?






    We’ve been told, via the Sun newspaper, that it’s ‘as you were’. Further behind than when the review squirrel was raised but a few wins against the diddy teams should be suffice for you.



    Nothing to see here.




  12. Good article.



    Yes, I would take him. Loan initially.



    I would hope he would be brought in to strengthen and not replace.



    We oft times do well with players who have a point to prove.

  13. Dessybhoy .


    Definitely Lawell wants to spread his word through CQN.



    I thought the Edouard poll was utterly disgraceful.



    Why no poll on Lawell , Lenny or Desmond Decker?



  14. !!BADA BING!! on 7TH JANUARY 2021 12:18 PM



    No point in bringing anyone in,we will have a new manager in a few months, but if anyone wants to go,bye…





    I’m not quite as convinced but if there’s a glimmer of truth in it, why are we waiting a few months?

  15. We need a fully fledged CB. It is a position that needs experience in it. I’d rather wait until one becomes available, rather than sticking a plaster on it, again!! por cierto

  16. Pingback: Benkovic and Ajer | Celtic FC News Now

  17. Not what is required long term but short term for 4 months if we wrap him in cotton wool and don’t allow anyone to tackle him in games !.



    Might just be better than duffy!



    The lack of planning being given to us breathtaking


    I noted yesterday this why don’t we have 3 or 4 names scouted and available to us. What’s going on in the scouting department!

  18. TT


    I agree the poll of Eddie was out of order, so as you say why not a poll on Lennon Lawwell Bankier Desmond etc etc, i forgot the ones I mentioned are re elected by the block vote at AGM time by rotation,shares a say in how the club is run dont make me laugh, no better than the Kelly’s and Whytes.


    Wake up season ticket holders only you have the power to force change as I wont be done willingly.

  19. POR CIERTO on 7TH JANUARY 2021 12:25 PM



    If that’s the case, lump your money on Kennedy :)

  20. Garngad to Croy on

    He looked the real deal when he was with us , it is a shame his career has went downhill after leaving Celtic.

  21. jimbob71 & little Miss jimbob on

    Big Wavy



    We’ve been told, via the Sun newspaper, that it’s ‘as you were’. Further behind than when the review squirrel was raised but a few wins against the diddy teams should be suffice for you.



    Nothing to see here.





    You got the memo too? Why didn’t I?!











  22. Benkovic can play back three and in a four. Can help with ball retention, seemed to read the game quite well.

  23. GEEBEE1978- If Neil Lennon is the manager next season, you could close most of the bottom section of CP,as well as the top tier

  24. glendalystonsils on

    !!BADA BING!! on 7TH JANUARY 2021 12:36 PM



    I wouldn’t rule it out .It depends whether DD’s ego prevails over his business brain .

  25. Greenwells Glory on

    Hi Ghuys, Salve salve ;- I do not think there has been any lack of planning, I think our major shareholders preparations to dispose of his shares are going ahead and that he sees no point in bringing in a new manager.


    He will leave that to the new owner(s).






    Ad calamitatem quilibet rumor valet.



    PS Sturgeon is a jobby.

  26. It is a pity that Benkovic has ended up bouncing around the Championship instead of playing a part at Leicester under the manager that seemed to get the most out of him, as indeed he did with Boyota now in Berlin. But it is Brendan Rodgers who has sent him on his travels and his travails if truth be told. He certainly looked the part when fit, tall, good in the air, mobile and a good reader of the game but the Championship is the Junior Football of England, hard and relentless, you need to be tough to do well there, or get out of there. Would like to have got him on another year loan, never happened then when he was progressing, no point now, when he is doing the opposite, regressing.

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