Five things Celtic fans should know about Charly Musonda

A thoroughly exciting player with tons of skill who loves running at opponents - and Lionel Messi. Picture: Getty
A thoroughly exciting player with tons of skill who loves running at opponents - and Lionel Messi. Picture: Getty
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Celtic have been linked with a £4.5million for the Chelsea youngster. Here’s everything you need to know about the 20-year-old Belgian.

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He didn’t play much last term

Having wowed the fan with some of his tricks and exhilarating runs in 2015/16, Musonda returned to Real Betis for the 2016/17 campaign. Unfortunately for player and club, the reunion didn’t work out, as he managed only 278 minutes of action before returning to his parent side in January. He would spend the rest of the campaign in Chelsea’s youth set-up, as the Blues opted against trying to find him another club in January.

The disappointing season could be what opens the door for Celtic to sign the player outright.

He’s fast as lightning (with and without the ball)

If he signed, Musonda would immediately become one of the quickest footballers in Scotland, and would even rival James Forrest for the title of fastest player at Parkhead. Even in La Liga, he had the deadly combination of ball control and pace, enough to frighten the life out of any defender. The thought of Musonda going up against your average Scottish Premiership pro must have Celtic fans salivating at the mouth.

He’s not afraid to run with the ball

Musonda loves to put his attributes into practice. In the 2015/16 season, only Karim Yoda of Getafe attempted more dribbles per 90 minutes across the whole of La Liga. Musonda’s 6.34 dribbles per game was a higher mark than the likes of Neymar (5.23), Lionel Messi (4.25) and Cristiano Ronaldo (1.83).

British football fans love a confident winger who lives to take on opposing defenders with the ball at their feet. It’s the type of player who will get fans off their seats, and should ease the disappointment which stemmed from Patrick Roberts’ exit - if the deal goes ahead.

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His crossing is wayward

Similar to a young James Forrest, Musonda lacks composure and consistency with his final ball. While he’s not afraid to get on the football and make things happen, he is reticent to swing it into the penalty area. He averaged 2.54 crosses per game in the 2015/16 season with Betis, which is a low number for a winger. It’s easy to see why when you discover his crossing accuracy, which sits at 16.67 per cent. Roberts, by comparison, completed 45.83 per cent of his crosses in last season’s Scottish top flight.

Musonda’s numbers would likely improve naturally just by moving to the Scottish Premiership, as he’ll be on the best team and aiming to get the ball beyond weaker defenders, though it’s certainly an aspect of his game that the management staff would look to work on.

The BBC believe the deal will be a loan

Reports of Celtic’s interest in Musonda emerged only a couple of days after Brendan Rodgers revealed the club were on the verge of signing a big target. However, according BBC Scotland reporter Chris McLaughlin, any deal is likely to be a love move with Chelsea keen to hold on to the prospect for a while longer to see how he develops. Obviously Celtic fans would prefer to see someone arrive on a permanent deal, but there are worse things in football than signing a highly entertaining speedster for a 12-month stay.

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