Done Deal: Celtic have agrees to sign the world-class due to…

Celtic head coach Brendan Rodgers could have a difficult situation to manage at the start of next year as a number of players look set to be unavailable due to international duty.

The 2024 Asian Cup takes place between the 12th of January and the 10th of February and this means that the Hoops could be without a number of their top players during that period, depending on selections and how far their respective countries go in the tournament.

Kyogo Furuhashi, Daizen Maeda, Hyeon-gyu Oh, and Hyun-jun Yang are just a few of the Bhoys talents who could be on their way to the competition and miss games for the Scottish giants.


This could leave Celtic particularly light at the top end of the pitch as both of their recognised centre-forward options could be competing in the Asian Cup and, therefore, be unavailable for selection for Rodgers.

With this in mind, it could be beneficial for the Parkhead side to bring in another number nine during the January transfer window to lead the line in their absence.

They already appear to be on the case as the Hoops have been touted with an interest in striker Sydney van Hooijdonk, who is the son of former Bhoys star Pierre.

Celtic transfer news – Sydney van Hooijdonk

According to Italian outlet Corriere di Bologna (20/11/2023 printed edition, Sport page 3), via 67HailHail, Bologna are prepared to sanction a loan deal for the young ace in January.

The report has claimed that the Serie A outfit are willing to send him out on a temporary basis for the second half of the season in order to free up space for them to bring in their own additions in that area of the pitch.

It is stated that Celtic have already made opening enquiries about a possible swoop to secure his services, although it remains to be seen whether or not they would want a permanent or loan deal.

A temporary arrangement could be the perfect solution for Scottish giants as van Hooijdonk could come in to provide relief whilst Oh and Kyogo are possibly away with their respective countries and then the club are not tied down to three senior strikers beyond the end of the season.

Rodgers only lines up with one centre-forward in his favoured formation and it could be difficult to keep three first-team options happy, particularly when Celtic are bottom of their Champions League group and on course to be kicked out of Europe this season.

Van Hooijdonk is not a new target for the Hoops as Sky Sports reporter Anthony Joseph named him as a player who had been on the club’s radar throughout the summer transfer window. Although, they either opted against a move at that point or were unable to strike a dela with Bologna.

Celtic could now find a lethal partner for Luis Palma during the second half of the season by signing the Serie A prospect to bolster their attacking options, as they could thrive alongside each other.

Luis Palma’s season in numbers

The Honduras international has enjoyed a terrific 2023/24 campaign since his move from Aris FC over the summer and is proving himself to be a superb signing by Rodgers.

He has hit the ground running in Scottish football and has showcased his ability to provide consistent quality as a scorer and a creator of goals from out wide.

Palma arrived at Parkhead off the back of a return of 13 goals and eight assists in 36 appearances in all competitions for his previous club last season. The exciting ace then started the current campaign with two goals and three assists in five outings for the Greek side before his move to Scotland was completed.

Since his switch to Paradise, the 23-year-old whiz has racked up five goals and five assists in 12 matches for Rodgers – with nine of those goal contributions coming in the Scottish Premiership.

Statistic Palma vs Aberdeen (12/11/2023)
Minutes played 90
Sofascore rating 10
Goals One
Assists Three
Big chances created Two
Key passes Seven
Dribbles completed Four
Palma’s most recent Celtic performance (via Sofascore)

As you can see by his latest Hoops showing, Palma is capable of the spectacular and has plundered an outstanding four goals and five assists in five league starts for the club so far.

He has created four ‘big chances’ and produced 2.6 key passes per game for his teammates in the top-flight, which shows that the former Aris star is able to consistently open up the opposition’s defence to create opportunities for his fellow attackers.

Sydney van Hooijdonk’s goal record

Palma could, therefore, be a fantastic partner for van Hooijdonk in the final third as the Bologna youngster has the potential to be a reliable scoring option for Rodgers.

The 23-year-old marksman has only scored one goal in 11 first-team matches for his current club but proved himself to be a lethal scorer in Dutch football.

He started his career with NAC Breda and racked up 42 goals and two assists in 57 U17 and U19 appearances combined before a step up to the senior squad, where the young finisher produced 23 goals and four assists in 70 outings.

This form earned him a move to Bologna and the Italian side opted to send him out on loan to Heerenveen for 18 months to continue his development.

Van Hooijdonk, who was once hailed as “prolific” by talent scout Jacek Kulig, scored six goals and created two ‘big chances’ in 13 Eredivisie matches during the first five months of his loan spell.

He followed that up with a sublime return of 16 goals and one assist in 30 league starts for Heerenveen as the right-footed dynamo showcased his ability to find the back of the net on a regular basis.

His record of 22 goals in 43 league starts for the Dutch side on loan meant that van Hooijdonk averaged more than a goal every other match during that period.

Now, imagine how lethal the £9k-per-week gem could be in front of goal with the supreme talent that is Palma out wide providing him with a regular stream of chances, and ‘big chances’, to score from for Celtic.

They could thrive next to each other in attack whilst Oh and Kyogo are potentially unavailable, which is why this could be a fantastic piece of business by Rodgers.

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