Soccer Football - Copa Libertadores - Flamengo Training - Ninho do Urubu, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - November 20, 2019 Flamengo's Vinicius Souza and Willian Arao during training REUTERS/Sergio Moraes

As speculation continues to grow about the future of Vinicius Souza, former Dundee United striker Lawrence Shankland believes the midfielder would be the perfect fit for the Hoops. 

Shankland made the move to the Belgian top flight last year making the switch to Beerschot who were relegated last season.

The Scotland international came up against Souza twice last season and believes that he would be the perfect fit to replace the outgoing Nir Bitton.

The Brazilian midfielder has attracted a lot of suitors after a standout season for Mechelen last season.

With Celtic’s links to the City Football Group and the appointment of Mark Lawwell it is hoped that this would make any kind of deal easier with it likely that the City Group may decide on where his futures rests.

“I remember playing against Souza. He’s hard to miss as he’s a tall, athletic guy who makes an instant impression on you as he’s a bit of a machine. “We played Mechelen twice and both times we struggled. They’re a good side and Souza is a big part of how they play as he sits in front of the defence and dominates in that area,” said Lawrence Shankland speaking to the [Daily Record]. 

“The role he performed was as a holding player in the midfield. He doesn’t over-complicate things, he just keeps things ticking over and moving the ball forward.

“He looked technically very good and is a good reader of the game. He puts me in mind of Nir Bitton.

“It would make sense that Celtic are looking for that type of player now that Bitton has moved on. Celtic will have been impressed as he’s had a good season in Belgium and clubs have clearly taken notice.

“Souza has a similar type of stature to Bitton and looks more than capable of going into Celtic and doing a similar job to the one Bitton carried out.

“From what I saw of him in the two games, Souza is good on the ball and has a presence about him. He’s a big lad and a threat at set-pieces.

“Celtic don’t really carry that threat from midfield in terms of size but they have boys like Callum McGregor who put in the miles. So it could help complement that and provide a good balance.

“If Souza was beside him then I can see Callum getting a bit more freedom to get about the pitch and get himself further forward with the shackles off him a bit more.

“From what I remember of Souza he likes to do the tidying up in the midfield area and hold his position. He is very disciplined in that role.”

The role which Shankland speaks about could be key heading into the Champions League group stage as we will come up against some top quality position with it being vital that the defence is given some protection.

It would give Ange Postecoglou much more free rein with potential to either move McGregor further forward or even switch to a double-pivot in midfield to try and shore things up.

This position may well be the next the manager turns his eyes towards as a priority.

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