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Our view: Celtic must take the Eduardo Camavinga threat seriously vs Rennes

Rennes' French midfielder Eduardo Camavinga is pictured during the French L1 Football match between Rennes (SRFC) and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), on August 18, 2019, at the Roazhon Park, in...

Celtic are preparing for a UEFA Europa League opener against Rennes and the youngster will be the most hyped player on the pitch.

Rennes' French midfielder Eduardo Camavinga is pictured during the French L1 Football match between Rennes (SRFC) and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), on August 18, 2019, at the Roazhon Park, in...

It's not long until Celtic kick off a new group stage campaign in the UEFA Europa League.

After the disappointment of the UEFA Champions League qualifying exit to Cluj, Neil Lennon's men managed to rebound and comfortably see off the threat of AIK to book their place in the competition.

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It's an enticing set of six fixtures for the Hoops and their supporters.

Cluj return of course having themselves failed to make the Champions League, joining Lazio and French club Rennes in the group alongside the Scottish champions.

The first task Lennon faces is counteracting a talented Rennes side who, as French Cup winners, will fancy their chances of picking up a result on their own patch next Thursday.

One of their big stars right now is 16-year-old midfielder Eduardo Camavinga, who has burst on to the Ligue 1 scene with plenty of hype behind him.

His age may suggest he's not someone Celtic should overly worry about, but he is undoubtedly a threat that Lennon needs to take seriously.

 

The PSG test

Rennes haven't been shy in unleashing the teenager in matches that would, on the face of it, appear to be a big ask for him.

When he lined up against Paris Saint-Germain recently in league action he faced a midfield put together at great expense by the French champions.

According to Transfermarkt, it was worth over £150m, with Marco Verratti valued at £67.5m, Marquinhos at £58.5m and Julian Draxler at £31.5m. Celtic know first hand just how devastating PSG can be, having been on the end of heavy defeats to them in recent years.

Camavinga ended the match as the highest rated player on the pitch according to stat website WhoScored

With three tackles, two shots, a dribble and an assist, he proved himself to be quite the all-rounder, outshining the illustrious names in opposition. He also successfully completed 98% of his passes, the highest completion rate of any outfield star.

And what an assist

By setting up Romain Del Castillo for the 2-1 winner against PSG, Camavinga became the youngest ever player to register an assist in the French top-flight.

It was no simple squared ball either. It was a sublime lofted chip into a dangerous area, perfectly weighted for his teammate to head home.

 

It's exactly the kind of contribution that demonstrates he has the cutting edge and confidence to punish Celtic.

A high profile Europa League match against the Hoops will be a massive opportunity for him to make a name for himself again.

Strasbourg's Cape Verdian forward Nuno Da Costa (R) vies with Rennes' Angolese midfielder Eduardo Camavinga during the French L1 football match between Strasbourg (RCSA) and Stade Rennais...

Certain to start?

The central midfield talent has started and finished all five of Rennes' competitive matches so far this season.

It's likely then that he'll be on the teamsheet when the Scottish side travel to France next week.

How Celtic deal with him will be fascinating to see.

At 34, captain Scott Brown is more than double his age. It's the kind of match up that should catch the attention of neutrals.

The Hoops offer a busy and robust offering in the middle of the park that can be quite physical when it needs to be.

Whether that's a route that Lennon wants to go down in dealing with the teenager remains to be seen.

However, a game plan is needed to specifically counteract his contribution or, like PSG, Celtic could be left humbled by an emerging star.

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