Should Celtic reignite their interest in AZ Alkmaar striker Aron Johannsson?

Celtic Stands

The US international could be a perfect replacement in the event of John Guidetti failing to agree a permanent move to the Scottish champions.

Should Celtic find themselves searching for a potential John Guidetti replacement in the summer, the club could do a lot worse than reignite their interest in AZ Alkmaar forward Aron Johannsson.

The US international, 24, was a reported target for the Scottish champions last season, per the likes of the Daily Record, with his strike-record of 17 goals in 32 Eredivisie games landing him a spot in Jurgen Klinsmann’s World Cup squad.

While interest in his signature appears to have cooled since Neil Lennon’s departure, there remains good reason for new manager Ronny Deila to return for the £2.4 million-rated man, despite a somewhat frustrating campaign.

After making just one substitute appearance in Brazil due to nagging injuries, Johannsson was subsequently forced to undergo ankle and groin operations in quick succession which ruled him out for the first ten games of the season and, as expected, have limited his production in front of goal.

Nevertheless, when fit and available, the Icelandic-born striker has been able to showcase his clear talent, and that again proved the case during AZ’s weekend trip to FC Utrecht.

A half-time substitute with his side 3-0 down, Johannsson scored for the third time in his last four league games just 10 minutes after his introduction and, while he was unable to prevent the visitors from falling to a 6-2 defeat, it was still a promising cameo.

Now with five goals in 13 top-flight matches this term, the former AGF Aarhus front man still harbours a great deal of untapped potential, but one gets the impression that he might now need a change of scenery in order to push on in his career.

His recent fitness issues have likely put paid to the chances of a major European powerhouse coming in for his signature in the coming months, but that could well play to Celtic’s advantage amid a potential pursuit.

With Manchester City loanee John Guidetti actively flirting with former club Feyenoord at the weekend, few would be surprised if the Swede turned down a long-term deal with the Hoops, and thus left Deila forced to dip back into the transfer market to replenish his strike-force.

A versatile attacker, who relies on both his pace and skill, Johannsson is not quite cut from the same mould as Guidetti but, having been courted by Arsenal prior to his AZ move, there is every reason to believe he possesses just as much, if not more, potential than Celtic’s current number nine.

Having chalked up six assists last season, he also offers far more than just goals, and a position just behind Leigh Griffiths could be where he ends up excelling at Parkhead.

Celtic’s summer transfer plans will ultimately become clearer once the end of the campaign draws nearer but, with another striker likely on their wishlist, Johannsson should be a name worth considering.

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