FILIP BENKOVIC became a Celtic fans’ favourite after joining on a season-long loan deal from Leicester City in 2018/19.

The accomplished Croatian centre-back, now 26, made 20 appearances in a treble-winning season under the guidance of Brendan Rodgers.

Benkovic had been bought by the Midlands club for £13million from Dinamo Zagreb just before they agreed to move him onto Parkhead for game-time.

The towering defender scored two goals for the Hoops, one in a 5-0 win over Hearts and another in a 3-0 victory over Dundee, both at Parkhead.

IN CONTROL…Filip Benkovic on his way to winning a League Cup medal with Celtic in the 1-0 win over Aberdeen in December 2018.

Unfortunately, he sustained an injury in a 3-0 success at Hamilton Accies in January 2019 and although he came back in late March, it was the end of the road in Glasgow for the stylish back-four performer.

Ironically, he was released by Rodgers from his Leicester City contract with 18 months still to run. The ex-Hoops gaffer selected the player just twice with his last outing coming in a 2-0 win over Wigan in the FA Cup in January 2020. He left the club two years later.

As well as his treble-winning spell in Glasgow, Benkovic had temporary transfers at Bristol City, Belgian club OH Leuven and Cardiff City.

After leaving the King Power club, he joined Italian side Udinese on January 13 2022. In September, he agreed a loan deal with German second-tier outfit Eintracht Braunschweig before moving to Turkish club Trabzonspor in another temporary switch in July last year.

He is due to return next month to his parent club, where he is under contract until June 2025.

* TOMORROW: Don’t miss the adventures of another former Celt in CQN’s EXCLUSIVE series.

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