Neil Lennon has rubbished reports that he wants to sign Sergio Quintero, claiming he’s never heard of the Ecuador U20 international, according to BBC Sportsound.
What’s the story?
Lennon was speaking after the 3-1 victory in Bosnia over FK Sarajevo in the first round of Champions League qualification and the Celtic boss stated he’s not interested in the midfielder: “The name’s not cropped up at all, he’s not popped up on the radar.”
The 20-year-old did well at the recent U20 World Cup but given Lennon’s stance, it looks unlikely that we’ll see the Imbabura Sporting Club midfielder in the Hoops anytime soon.
The silver lining
While Quintero impressed in the U20 World Cup with his Ecuador side that reached the semi-finals his signing would surely result in Ewan Henderson dropping further down the pecking order in Celtic’s midfield. Quintero would come in to provide competition for Scott Brown and Callum McGregor as the two midfielders tasked with sitting in front of the back four (although Lennon lined his side up in a 3-5-1-1 against FK Sarajevo that was more to do with not having a right-back he trusts in the squad rather than a massive tactical shift from the Northern Irishman).
With Nir Bitton already capable of doing the ‘destroyer‘ role that we saw from Quintero at the U20 World Cup it would mean even more competition for Henderson as he looks to get more game time in the Celtic side. Big things are expected of the 19-year-old Scot and he was starting to look like someone capable of playing more regularly towards the end of last season and a move for the Ecuadorian would surely impact on his playing time.
Missing out on Quintero would give Lennon the perfect excuse to play the prodigious Henderson more, accelerating his development as opposed to seeing it hindered by the arrival of a potentially big-money signing in the shape of the Ecuadorian.