This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Celtic are reportedly interested in a deal to sign Derby County youngster Lee Buchanan, according to The Daily Record.
Buchanan has made 44 senior appearances for the Rams’ first-team in total, and it appears as though some of his strong performances haven’t gone unnoticed.
Championship rivals Nottingham Forest were previously interested in a deal to sign Buchanan, but Celtic are reportedly now keen on rivalling them for the 20-year-old.
The Bhoys finished second in the Scottish Premiership last term, in what was a frustrating campaign, as they finished 25 points adrift of Rangers.
Ange Postecoglou is clearly keen to add depth to his defensive options this summer, although it remains to be seen as to whether Derby are willing to consider any offers for players anytime soon, with Wayne Rooney’s side not having much depth in their first-team squad at this moment in time.
We ask our Football League World writers what they make of Celtic’s interest in signing Buchanan, and whether he’d be a good addition to Postecoglou’s side or not.
Buchanan would be a quality signing for Celtic to make this summer if they could secure a deal with Derby County for his services. There is no doubt that the left-back has a lot of potential and he has already soaked up a lot of first-team experience with the Rams that would make him well placed to play for a club of the size of the Scottish giants.
The left-back would be someone that could come into the side right now and have an impact, but it would be as well an addition to the squad with the long-term future in mind. The defender is someone that you could see enjoying a lengthy spell with Celtic and picking up a lot of trophies domestically along the way if he were to make the move.
However, Derby are in a position where they simply can not afford to let players leave the club. They might be tempted to cash in on Buchanan but it would have to be for a large fee because if they do sell him then they will leave themselves in a very weak position in terms of their squad heading into the new Championship season.
The Rams would likely be more receptive to him moving to Celtic than they would be to him joining Nottingham Forest this summer. So, there might be a chance for a move to Glasgow for him.
I think it would be a no brainer for Celtic to be honest, as Buchanan is easily one of the best young full backs in the Football League.
He would also offer Greg Taylor some much needed competition on the left hand side of defence.
Whether Derby will let him go or not is another matter entirely, as it doesn’t seem like they can replace any players that they lose this summer.
It’s a very tough situation for them to be in and I honestly can’t call whether he will be at Pride Park or not come the end of the window.
If Celtic push hard enough, I think the Rams will see their resolve thoroughly tested.
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Judging off their pre-season matches and Champions League clash with Midtjylland, Celtic have some defensive issues but as an attacking left-back, Buchanan isn’t going to solve them.
I would have thought that a right-back and a couple of centre-backs would be more of a priority right now than left-backs – especially when the Hoops have two senior left-sided ones on the books in Greg Taylor and Boli Bolingoli.
Having spent last season out on loan, Bolingoli’s future is probably up in the air which is why Celtic are being linked with Buchanan – and if they do have to sell him for a decent fee then Derby fans would rather the youngster heads north of the border rather than their biggest rivals Nottingham Forest.
The transfer budget that Ange Postecoglou has to work with is unclear, but Buchanan shouldn’t exactly break the bank considering the issues that Derby are currently going through.
Wayne Rooney obviously won’t want to sell one of his brightest talents, however the bigger picture needs to be looked at and recouping a decent seven-figure transfer fee for Buchanan could see the EFL allow the club to make multiple signings – Derby need to add a lot of depth before they start the Championship season and a potential Buchanan departure could facilitate that.