One swallow does not make a summer and one Soro does not solve Celtic’s midfield problems.
Ismaila Soro may have offered a tantalising glimpse into the future during a hugely impressive performance in last week’s Europa League triumph over Lille, but it’s far to soon to suggest the hard-running Ivorian is Scott Brown 2.0.
The 22-year-old has played just 217 minutes of football this season after all. The sample size is small and, until Soro has a lengthy catalogue of stand-out displays behind him, no-one at Parkhead will be proclaiming the Brown era over just yet.
So, two years after Celtic launched a £5 million bid for a versatile Mexico international, Edson Alvarez’s new-found availability is unlikely to go unnoticed at Parkhead (ESPN).
Ajax blew Celtic out the water when they paid £13 million for the then-Club America star in 2019, thanks in part to funds raised through the departures of Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong.
But, after starting just ten Eredivisie games in 18 months for the Amsterdam giants, Alvarez is ready for a fresh challenge.
Voetbal International reports the 34-cap international, who shot to fame at the 2018 World Cup, is desperate to escape his benchwarming role in the Dutch capital.
Alvarez might lack the pristine technical skills to shine at the heart of a club that averages 60 per cent possession per game in the Eredivisie. But what he lacks in precision, he more than makes up for in ball-winning and firefighting.
No midfielder in Ajax’s squad made more tackles per game in the 2019/20 Champions League campaign (2.5 per match). And with Brown’s lack of mobility becoming a massive problem at the age of 35, the 6ft 2in Alvarez looks the ideal long-term replacement for the overworked Celtic skipper.
A deep-lying midfielder at club level, Alvarez thrives at centre-half for his country.
Given Celtic’s lack of depth in defence, particularly with Hatem Abd Elhamed linked with a January exit, the Mexican’s versatility alone may be enough to justify another big-money bid from Parkhead.