Even though I’m now USA based, I still spend a big chunk of the year in Germany as one of the commentary voices for the Bundesliga’s international TV feed. In fact I’m just back from a spell of covering four games in five days to round out the calendar year.

It was no surprise to me when preparing for Stuttgart v Bayern, to receive a raft of tweeted questions from Celtic fans about the ability of RB Leipzig defender Marvin Compper. The highly respected Kicker magazine, my own football bible, first broke the news of a possible Compper-Celtic tie up a week ago.

Not even the most ardent Celtic fan would deny that the Hoops’ defence is the weakest area of the team. This has been exploited by many a side in the Champions League and also by Hearts in Sunday’s 4-0 thrashing that ended Celtic’s unbeaten domestic run at 69 games.

So where would Compper fit by way of improving a wobbly rearguard? First of all there needs to be a reality check. Celtic are not getting a defender whose services are in demand by countless Bundesliga clubs. Compper has played for his country, but a long time ago and his best days are behind him.

Curiously, the 32-year-old spoke recently of his affection for Leipzig and his desire to see his career out with a club whose dynamic counter pressing style has done much to enliven the Bundesliga scene since promotion 18 months ago.

But Compper is yesterday’s man at the Red Bull Arena. His acquisition in 2014 was an important statement of intent from a side realising a dream. He brought credibility and substance, having spent 18 months at Fiorentina, 5 years at Hoffenheim and with international nous.

This season he has been on the outside looking in at Leipzig. It’s hardly a shock to those of us who have watched their rapid rise at close hand. The policy is to sign only players between 19 and 23, so Compper no longer fits the profile of a Leipzig player. That he has appeared in just two Bundesliga matches this term, starting only the week five loss in Augsburg, tells its own story.

But here are the positives. Compper is an experienced, left footed central defender who is a slight improvement over what Brendan Rodgers has already at his disposal. He’s strong in the tackle and will win his share of duels plus he’s a decent enough passer from the back. He has played left back too but I doubt very much that’s where he’ll line up for Celtic.

Perhaps as important as anything will be Compper leadership qualities and the fact that he is naturally inquisitive. When he joined Hoffenheim in 2008, it was to sign up to a new and interesting project. Having helped them win promotion just months after arriving at the club, he built a reputation for being a good guy to have in the dressing room.

His move to Fiorentina in early 2013 also showed a willingness to try something different. Similarly his decision to join Leipzig for their promotion assault. I can imagine Compper feels Celtic would be an interesting new challenge in keeping with his previous career decisions, a chance to sample a new culture and football style.

Sometimes, a club needs a different sort of player once established in the upper echelon of any top flight league. That is true of Ralph Hasenhüttl‘s Leipzig, who will expect to be playing European football season in, season out.

A few have asked why bother signing a player who’s ineligible for the Europa League? I don’t think Brendan Rodgers has gone after Compper just for two games and let’s remember he‘s 32, not 42.

In short, Celtic fans expectations should be modest in this case. They are getting an old hand, someone who knows his way around a football pitch and wants to test himself in a brand new environment. But he’s not someone the rest of the Bundesliga is queuing up to sign.

There is respect for Celtic and their supporters in Germany, enhanced by the last couple of years of meeting Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Every player and fan you speak to describes Celtic Park as an unforgettable place.

One last note, to pronounce Compper’s name properly just say the word ‘compare’ and you’ve nailed it. The comparison with his fellow central defenders at Celtic Park should be more than favourable.