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 have joined Bristol City in the race for Oxford United centre-back Rob Atkinson, according to journalist Alan Nixon.
It is understood that it could cost around £1.6 million to prize the defender away from Oxford after his impressive form in 2019/20.
So, would he be a good signing for Celtic? And is he ready to step up to SPFL level?
We quizzed our FLW writers…
This would be an excellent signing for Celtic to make this summer with them needing to rebuild their squad and try and head in a different direction under Ange Postecoglou. Atkinson is a promising defender that will only continue to improve and develop over the next few years and that makes him a very valuable asset for anyone who secures his services.
The defender has shown real maturity with his performances in League One for Oxford United and he is a player that looks to be ready to make that next step up from the English third tier. Celtic is a club that could be perfect for his development given it will offer him the chance to play in Europe and compete for domestic silverware.
The 22-year-old should be able to handle the pressure of playing for a club of Celtic’s stature with him not being someone that has been overawed by any of the challenges that have been presented to him throughout his career so far.
Bristol City are also interested in him, but you would have to feel that if Celtic come in with an offer that is accepted by Oxford then Atkinson would have to be tempted to make that move.
I think that this could be a really smart addition for Celtic.
Rob Atkinson is one of the best young defenders in the EFL and with a reported fee of £1.6m being needed to do a deal, it could prove to be a real bargain.
If Celtic were to offload Kristoffer Ajer then they’d surely be attracting a substantial sum and that means that a move for Atkinson could see them save a large chunk of the funds while also bringing in a high-potential replacement.
It might take him some time to step up to life in the SPFL, but given a bit of time I think that it will be a move that pays off.
One question about every player in the Bhoys’ first-team – Can you score 100% on this?
Atkinson is a player who could certainly play higher than Sky Bet League One. For me the Scottish Premiership isn’t blessed with quality and I think he would take to it like a duck to water.
If Ajer does leave as expected, Celtic would be bringing in a good replacement in the form of the Oxford United man.
He’d come cheaper than other targets in his position too, so it would be good business by the Hoops.
I certainly think it would be a great move for both the player and the club.