German football journalist Raphael Honigstein told the BBC that Leipzig made an exception to the club’s policy of not signing players above the age of 25 when they brought in Compper because sporting director Ralf Rangnick felt the defender’s experience would be vital in earning the club promotion to the Bundesliga.
Honigstein added: “He was brought up on Ralf Rangnick football at Hoffenheim, so he’s used to the players in front of him pressing and quick, vertical football, but also opposition teams sending balls over the top.
“He’s very good at being in the right space and dealing with these situations. He’s one of those centre-backs you don’t see a lot of during the game, he tends to solve problems before they arrive.
“He’s not one for thunderous tackles, but smart positioning,” Honigstein continued.
While the 32-year-old Compper has found first team football hard to come by at the Red Bull Arena this season, it’s not because of a loss of form or because he’s fallen out of favour.
Honigstein explains that Compper has simply been kept out of the team by the form of Dayot Upamecano and Ibrahima Konate.
“Upamecano has been fantastic since coming up, Rangnick keeps saying he should be in the French national team.
“[Compper] has just lost his position to younger, more agile players. Even the captain [Willi Orban] has found himself on the sidelines because Ibrahima Konate and Upamecano have struck up such a good partnership [in defence].
“He’s at an age where he doesn’t benefit from sitting on the bench, so I can understand why he’s taking the opportunity to be a starter in a team that’s going to win titles.
“But his football education is very much about being very quick, very technical, trying to look out for that forward ball all the time.”
The Tubingen-born defender jetted in to Scotland yesterday as Celtic attempt to thrash out a deal. Compper’s Leipzig contract runs until 2019 and is expected to cost around £1 million.