CELTIC manager Neil Lennon has made no secret of the fact that he is looking to add some more quality to his midfield, and with the collapse of the David Turnbull transfer from Motherwell, that desire has only been strengthened.

The latest name to be linked with a move to the club is Brentford captain Romaine Sawyers, a central midfielder who played 42 games for The Bees last season.

Any notion that he is a straight replacement for Turnbull though is rather quashed by his headline attacking stats, with Sawyers failing to score at all last season. The 27-year-old did lay on six goals for teammates though, and while he may not have been able to find the back of the net himself, that doesn’t nearly show the full picture of the type of player Celtic would be getting if they can lure him north.

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Sawyers is regarded as one of the best all-round midfielders in the Championship, keeping the likes of Chelsea youth product Josh McEachran out of the Brentford side. He had an average pass completion rate of 87.9% last season, and showed a wide range of passing ability too, completing 60.7% of the long passes he attempted.

His assist average at 0.12 is comparable to Turnbull’s at 0.14, and ahead of Olivier Ntcham’s average of just 0.07. He is behind Ryan Christie and Tom Rogic in that metric though, who averaged 0.23 and 0.32 assists respectively across the campaign.

Defensively, he is also a solid performer, although his numbers don’t quite reach the levels of current Celtic captain Scott Brown. He averaged a 35.4% success rate from his 17.69 duels per game last term, while the combative Brown won 41.8% of the 21.51 duels he competed in per game.

Sawyers managed an average of 3.26 interceptions per game, while Brown managed 5.89. He recovered the ball an average of 7.98 times per game compared with Brown’s 11.24, although Sawyers did win the ball higher up the park, regaining possession in his opponent’s half 48.1% of the time compared to Brown’s 39.2%.

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Perhaps the player to best compare Sawyers to, given the role he is currently playing at Celtic in contributing to both defence and attack, would be Callum McGregor. McGregor scored six goals last season and provided 10 assists from a deep-lying position for the most part, and slightly bettered Sawyers on his pass completion stats too, with 91.2% finding the mark, and 61.7% of his long passes being completed.

McGregor attempted more dribbles than Sawyers and competed a higher percentage of them too, trying 2.19 per game to Sawyers’ 1.98, and completing 77.2% of them to Sawyers’ 66%.

So, there are no particular outlying numbers in Sawyers’ stats that suggest he will offer anything significantly different to what Celtic already have on their books, but therein lies the issue. With Olivier Ntcham agitating for a move and speculation surrounding the future of Tom Rogic, Celtic boss Lennon may well be looking to bring in a solid all-rounder who would compensate somewhat for any drop-off in numbers in the middle of the park.