Patrick Berg’s stock in the football world has been rising and with good reason. The 24-year-old has won back-to-back Eliteserien titles with Bodo/Glimnt, picked up 9 international appearances for Norway and excelled in European competitions with the highlight coming in a 6-1 win over AS Roma where he scored.

With the Norwegian league coming to a conclusion in early December, Berg will likely be on the move as his contract nears completion in December 2022, with Bodo/Glimnt looking to cash in on their prized asset while they still can. Many clubs will be circling looking to convince Berg to join after his impressive performances and Celtic should be one of them.

Berg has been developing at Bodo/Glimnt in Norway for seven years now, joining their youth side all the back in 2014. It wouldn’t take him much longer to make his full first-team debut, doing so in a 6-1 rout at the tail end of the 2015 campaign. Over the next three seasons, he developed as a defensive midfielder in Norway playing around 1000 minutes per season from 2016 to 2018.

READ MORE: Celtic transfer trio scouted from Primeira Liga as Jota proves league's bargain credentials

In 2019 under the now highly rated manager Kjetil Knutsen, Berg had his breakthrough season playing 2400 minutes and cementing himself as a key player at the base of the midfield in Knutsen’s 4-3-3 system, finishing second in the league. The following season Berg would captain his side to their first-ever league title and followed this up with another title a year later.

Heat Map

The Norwegian is a 5ft9, right-footed, ball-playing 6 that protects the backline with his strong defensive talents and starts his team’s attacks with his wide variety of passing. From the heat map below Berg shows strong positional sense, not getting dragged wide often but also appears prominently in half-spaces where he offers himself for the ball in the defensive and attacking thirds.

Celtic Way:

Key Strengths

Berg has two key strengths, his variety of passing to move his team up the pitch and his defensive ability to regain possession.

The below graphic gives an indication of the passing strengths. Berg gets on the ball a lot making 60 passes p90 with an accuracy of over 90% placing him in the near the top percentile in the league.

We can see the impact his passing creates for his side with near top percentile scores on both xGChain and xGbuildup. xGbuildup is particularly useful for finding top deep-lying playmakers as this removes the value of xG and xA that is included in the xGChain metric. This helps Berg, as his impact is likely to come before the creative or goalscoring action, helping to get his teammates into more dangerous locations on the pitch. Berg is certainly one of these top talents with 0.56xGbuildup p90.

Despite being at the base of the midfield Berg plays a lot more vertically than a traditional 6 with 8.89 forward passes and 8.78 passes to the final third p90.

Celtic Way:

Defensive intelligence and mobility make him perfect for Ange-Ball. Even as the deepest of a three-man midfield, he is able to keep the team defending from the front with his high pressing to win the ball and create dangerous final third transitions. His 2.03 recoveries in that area is one of the highest in the league and he compliments this with 0.45 dangerous recoveries where a shot is taken soon after the ball is recovered.

Celtic Way:


Berg has few weaknesses that affect his game but they do explain how he ended up at the base of midfield. One of these is his inability to drive the ball forward himself via dribbling meaning he must focus on using his strong passing ability. He isn’t in a position where this is required much but it probably ruled him out from playing a more advanced role where one-v-one ability is more prioritised.

Celtic Way:

Just like his dribbling, Berg has a questionable shooting ability. He likes to take on shots from very long range with a low success rate. Shooting from poor shot locations is definitely an area he could work on.

As can be seen in the graphic below, he doesn’t get many shots in the box but when he does, he’s fairly efficient so should prioritise this going forward.

Celtic Way:

Should Celtic Sign Him?

Yes. Berg is a top talent that could slot into the base of the Celtic midfield three and perform to a high level.

He would be available for an affordable fee and could be developed further and sold on for profit. The only issue is the player occupying the spot at Celtic currently is Callum McGregor who is both excellent and the captain.

READ MORE: Celtic's injury woes, Marcelo Bielsa' Leeds and why recovery time is crucial to title bid

Signing Berg would allow Ange to properly manage the minutes of that position and change to more attacking or defensive options if required. If Berg did sign it would surely mean the end for the likes of James McCarthy and Ismaila Soro. It would also strengthen our squad while weakening our opponents in the Europa Conference League.

Is a Transfer Likely?

In my opinion probably not, Celtic have likely squandered the opportunity to sign Berg. His performances in Europe this season have likely alerted clubs in the top five leagues to his ability and who can pay higher wages to secure his signature.

However, you never know what the player wants for himself or his career. At the very least Celtic should be asking the question.