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Celtic linked forward Gyrano Kerk is ready to take the next step in his career and leave the Eredivisie behind, his former Utrecht coach Erik Ten Hag has told Voetbal International.

Given that Ten Hag led a fresh-faced and free-scoring Ajax side to the domestic double in 2019, not to mention the Champions League semi-finals, a man who put Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt on the path to stardom is well placed to pass judgement.

And speed demon Kerk has been a man transformed over the last 12 months, earning praise from not only Ten Hag but almost everyone in Holland.

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Once a player who relied almost solely on his searing pace, the Amsterdam-born 24-year-old is now one of the ruthless forwards in Dutch football.

He even fired Utrecht into the top six with 11 goals and 12 assists across 2019/20.

“He can certainly take another step,” says the Pep Guardiola-influenced Ten Hag, who worked with Kerk at Utrecht before taking over at Ajax.

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“His way of playing would fit well in England. It is only difficult to estimate whether the step up from the Eredivisie to the Premier League is too big

“I think he would do even better in Germany. Much more counter-attacking football is played there. 

“That is perfect for him. He is very dangerous in the larger spaces.”

You have to wonder, then, if a move to Celtic would really suit Utrecht’s newly-crowned Player of the Year.

With the Scottish champions tending to dominate possession in each and every domestic fixture, most Premiership clubs are happy to sit back and limit the kind of open plains within which Kerk would thrive.

Speaking to the Daily Record recently, Utrecht coach John Van den Brom admitted that Celtic were indeed interested in a player nicknamed ‘Usain Bolt’ due to his explosive acceleration.

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