18 days into the transfer window we’ve landed our first business, 24-year-old Danish international central defender, Erik Sviatchenko, joining from Danish champions Midtjylland, who are due to compete in the Europa League knock out stages next month.
On paper this one ticks all the boxes. The player has been tested in a league a little stronger than our own, and in Europe this season, where Midtjylland eliminated Southampton, Bruge and Legia Warsaw. He will add security to the back line in the chase for the treble, and will be ready for Champions League qualifiers in August.
Ronny Deila now needs to make sure Sviatchenko and Simunovic form a proper defensive partnership – something we’ve lacked this season. Pressure will now mount on Efe Ambrose (27) and Dedryck Boyata (25) to up their game if they are to force their way back into the team. Both are in their prime years, but older than the two I expect to keep them out.
I’ve been shouting for a defensive mid for two years, most noticeably on Friday night, when Dundee United ran straight up the middle of the park to score, but we’ll see what shape the team takes after the addition of Erik.
I think Celtic should also be congratulated on getting this business done below the radar until close to the finish line. We’re involved in lots of transfer speculation at the moment but don’t spend your time researching every name that pops up. There will be five players linked to the club for every prime target.
Welcome to Celtic, Erik.