- Celtic have tonight officially announced the much anticipated arrival of Belgian attacking midfielder Charly Musonda on an 18-month loan deal from Chelsea.
Welcome to Celtic, Charly Musonda
The 21 year old had been linked with the club for some time ever since Brendan Rodgers' arrival, with the gaffer finally managing to get his man, in what can only be considered a major coup, with around 24 other clubs also interested in the highly rated attacker.
Musonda has wasted no time in winning over the Celtic fans, with the youngster choosing to sport the number 67 for his new club, a number which is of course iconic to every Hoops fan across the globe. He certainly seems delighted to be in the East End of Glasgow, and with the side looking slightly bereft of creativity in recent weeks, it is a signing which has been unanimously welcomed.
So, what kind of player are we getting? Well, going purely by youtube and comments from both Chelsea fans and English football experts, he seems to be a direct, pacey and skillful attacker, who can play anywhere in behind the central striker. He started out at Anderlecht before moving to the London side at a young age, where he has honed his skills in the highly respected - and burgeoning - Stamford Bridge Academy. He also has experience of La Liga, after carrying out a year and a half's spell with Real Betis. His time in Spain gave the youngster valued experience and despite his slightly underwhelming stats on paper, he returned to his parent club a better player, so much so that he was given a new 5-year contract only last year.
After struggling to break into a talent-filled Chelsea side however, he has taken the correct and highly mature decision to seek first team football elsewhere, with the influence of Brendan Rodgers once again proving to be crucial in signing another young footballer packed with potential. The gaffer has spoken at length in the past about wanting to find his very own 'Coutinho type' for Celtic, and I can certainly see similarities with the new Barcelona superstar and Musonda. He brings a dynamism and an electric turn of pace which we currently do not have in the no10 position - the area where I feel we will see him most- and will add to a front line already well stocked with goals and flair, when fully fit. The prospect of seeing him lining up alongside the likes of Patrick Roberts, Scott Sinclair and Moussa Dembele in the coming months is an exciting and frightening (in a good way) prospect and the Belgian could be in line for a quickfire debut tomorrow night against Hearts.
Both the Celtic board and Rodgers himself should be commended for pushing through this deal. Despite it only being a loan, 18-months is more than enough time for the player to make a long lasting impact, and who knows what might happen beyond then. As we have seen with Roberts and many others in the past, Celtic is a club which can grab a hold of you and infect the soul. If Musonda impresses and develops, it certainly has the potential to be a match made in heaven.