Jose Cifuentes: What Would Celtic Be Getting If He Snubs City For Parkhead?

Jose Cifuentes: What Would Celtic Be Getting If He Snubs City For Parkhead?

CD America de Quito midfielder Jose Cifuentes is very interested in a move to Celtic, according to the latest reports.

The Ecuadorian is also being pursued by Manchester City but if he does snub a move to the Premier League, what should Hoops supporters be expecting?

From the looks of his record in senior football, Celtic would likely be getting someone closer to Callum McGregor rather than either Scott Brown or Tom Rogic.

Cifuentes averages a similar number of tackles per 90 minutes to McGregor, according to Wyscout, around 0.35 to McGregor’s 0.38

In terms of defensive actions per 90, they also average around the same number, but McGregor is likely to win more interceptions while Cifuentes generally commits more fouls and blocks more shots.

With regards to being a threat in the final third, though, the Ecuadorian will need to up his game if he is going to compete for a place in the side alongside Scott Brown.

Cifuentes does get forward as he hits around 1.92 shots per 90 minutes, and averages around the same through passes per match as McGregor (at 1.22) but his end product at club level isn’t good.

He may have played just ten matches this year in the league, with domestic matches suspended during the Copa America, but he has yet to score a goal or provide an assist this season.

Cifuentes does play in a more withdrawn role, but with the numbers he is putting in, you would expect a bit more creativity and goal threat.

For his club, the 20-year-old also takes setpieces and free-kicks and he does regularly deliver crosses into the box but his completion rate (18%) is rather low, especially when you consider how frequently he crosses the ball.

If he is used deeper by manager Neil Lennon, however, he would have a long way to go to match Scott Brown. The Celtic captain averages five interceptions per 90 minutes while he wins 57% of his defensive duels compared to Cifuentes 51%.

It would, therefore, be fair to say to the Ecuadorian really hasn’t found his role in senior football quite yet. He has some very good attributes but he would need to up his game in all areas to compete with Brown and McGregor.

If Olivier Ntcham does leave, though, he could well be a good successor for the Frenchman. Cifuentes does average fewer dribbles per game than Ntcham, and he may not offer as much in the attacking third, but he works far harder defensively and may have greater potential.