Celtic must re-sign 73-time international to solve midfield problem, currently a free agent - view
COMMENT By Editor Wayne Veysey
How Joe Ledley, capped 73 times by Wales, is out of work beggars belief.
But the former Hoops midfielder has yet to find a club since being released by Crystal Palace earlier this summer.
Free agent Ledley can rest easy knowing a club will eventually come knocking, with his position strengthened following the abolition of the emergency loan windows.
Celtic should be among the clubs banging on his door. Indeed, they must go a step further further and not rest until they have tied the 30-year-old down for a second time.
Ledley was an unused substitute for Wales in their two World Cup qualifier wins during the international break after losing his place due to his lack of football.
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But he still has the quality to be an excellent addition to Brendan Rodgers’ midfield, especially in a position where the team are short of numbers.
Olivier Ntcham has made an excellent impression since joining this summer and 2016-17 mainstays Scott Brown and Callum McGregor are at the peak of their powers, but the 48-time Scottish champions have lost Kouassi Eboue to a long-term knee injury and Nir Bitton has spent the season to date covering at centre-back.
With injuries and further absences likely to take their toll, Ledley could be the answer to a thorny problem.
Still only 30 – he does not blow out 31 candles on his birthday cake until January – Ledley is a proven performer who knows the Scottish game inside out and has a sound reputation among Celtic fans, following his four-year spell at the club between 2010 and 2014.
Ledley made 157 league and cup appearances for the Hoops and had a hand in a goal once every three matches, with 30 goals and 24 assists to his name.
His energy, commitment and team-first ethos would be ideal for Rodgers’ side, especially in those forthcoming Champions League matches when they face lengthy periods without the ball against Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.
For Celtic to go one better than their all-conquering 2016-17 campaign, they must still be in Europe after Christmas.
Ledley has the calibre to help them stay there.
In other Celtic transfer news, Rangers would storm to the SPL title if they had been successful in their deadline-day pursuit of a £45,000-a-week striker.