Celtic could perhaps do with another option at right-back.
Mikael Lustig simply isn’t the all-action player he once was in his early 30s, Cristian Gamboa has never really convinced, Jack Hendry has struggled away from his natural centre-half position and Tony Ralston has not been seen for some time.
So it is no wonder that Celtic wanted to sign the swashbuckling Cristiano Piccini in the summer.
The Mail stated that Brendan Rodgers had sent scouts to watch the 25-year-old Italian in action for Sporting Lisbon. Piccini, who moved to Portugal after an impressive spell in Spain with Real Betis, is a modern and attack-minded full-back who would have offered an immediate upgrade on any of the options currently at Celtic’s disposal.
But Celtic’s hopes were soon dashed. Piccini soon signed a deal with La Liga giants Valencia, who paid £7 million to bring him to the Mestalla.
The proven La Liga ace should prove to be an excellent value addition to Los Che’s squad –but it seems that he has work to do to win over his new supporters. Piccini was left exposed in Valencia’s 1-1 league opener against Atletico Madrid, playing Angel Correa onside for the opening goal.
The fans weren’t happy. And Celtic fans can take some comfort in knowing that, as good as Piccini is going forward, he is capable of a mistake at the other end.
Piccini looked bad in that half. Just when Valencia got rid of Montoya.— Erik Hellberg (@EHellberg98) August 20, 2018
Piccini ruining the offside trap like peak Montoya. I'm crying.— Cerè Xúquer (@Cerebrone) August 20, 2018
Piccini didn't have the best first half, composed himself a little more in the second (likely after a word from Marcelino.) Needs to improve a lot more even still.— Mark McKenna (@SparkyGol) August 20, 2018
Piccini the worst one. With Soler of course.— Tomasz Lisiecki (@tomek_lisiecki) August 20, 2018
Piccini has been very poor tbh.— Marcus (@MarcusBr22) August 20, 2018
Piccini been awful what is it with valencia and poor right backs barragan, montoya and now piccini— Barcelona (@Blaugrana7754) August 20, 2018
Piccini is worse than Montoya... Unbelievable..— Cruijffista (@LaComputadora14) August 20, 2018
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