Celtic currently have only two recognised centre backs in their first team squad in Kristoffer Ajer and Jozo Simunevic. With the departure of our two best centre backs, Dedryck Boyata and Filip Benkovic it leaves the Celts threadbare in what is one of the most important areas of the side. The hope is that Celtic are currently on the lookout for two extremely capable defenders and not resting on their laurels thinking that Ajer and Jozo are good enough. The former is still very raw and the latter is injury prone and unreliable. Reinforcements are essential.
In view of this, it would be ideal if Celtic could sign an experienced centre half, maybe a guy who had considerable experience on the continent in leagues such as the Bundesliga and Serie A. The irony in all of this is that Marvin Commper, ex Borrusia Munchengladbach, Fiorentina and Red Bull Lepzig is still on the books at Parkhead and rarely even merits a mention these days. He is the forgotten man of Parkhead.
Compper was a £1m signing in the disastrous 2018 January window, arriving alongside the equally ineffective duo of Charley Musonda and Jack Hendry. Since then his sum total contribution in the Hoops has been one appearance in the Scottish Cup against Morton just after signing. Brendan Rodgers appeared to wash his hands of his new signing and the blame was then deflected on to the hapless Lee Congerton for recommending a dud. Rumours abounded of off field indiscretions but, short of murdering someone, it’s hard to imagine what could have seen Compper cast away in such a reckless fashion.
When Rodgers let for Leicester in early 2019 under such treacherous circumstances, there was thought that Neil Lennon may try and rehabilitate him in the team but no such thing occurred. The curious thing was that Compper was seen joining in and enjoying the title winning celebrations after the Hearts game at Parkhead in May, much to the amusement of the Celtic support. This was a most curious thing to happen as he was so far out of the reckoning there were fans who didn’t recognise him.
Even when Celtic had a defensive injury crisis Compper was nowhere to be seen. There were further rumours of the large wage he was said to be commanding and the feeling is surely it would be better to give a player an opportunity to prove his worth and get some on-field return rather than let him rot in the stands. No one knows how good or bad Marvin Compper is because no one has actually seen enough of him in action to make a judgement.
Celtic are no strangers to eccentric signings. From Bonnes to Scheidt, from Juninho to Gravesen and from Pukki to Amido Balde. However, Marvin Compper may actually be the daddy of them all given the expenditure and lack of return for the investment. It’s sad to see that he still has a year left on his contract. If Lennon was going to give him an opportunity then he would have done so by now. The best we can hope for is to get him away on loan for the season and out this matter behind us. The likelihood is that he will sit his time out on the periphery, accept his considerable wage and allow his contract to run out, so typical of many footballers in the modern era.
We should never say never but it would be a small miracle for the German internationalist to redeem himself and find a way back in his Parkhead career. Marvin Commper will be remembered long after he has left Celtic. But, sadly, for all the wrong reasons.