Let’s skip forward several weeks and analyse the striking options that could be open to Brendan Rodgers.
Celtic are in the market for two extra strikers this month. Already that’s looking like being Timothy Weah and Vakoun Issouf Bayo. One deal is already over the line, whilst the other likely won’t be too far behind it.
Added to that, the club have Odsonne Edouard already available and looking the part this season. He remains the club’s number one striker, and is unlikely to be displaced.
So how is Rodgers going to tackle the situation if he has three top strikers wanting game-time?
A tricky situation to manage
In the past, Rodgers has already stated how difficult it is to manage three hungry players for one position. That’s the same kind of situation he’s seeking out for his striking options.
Irrespective of that, however – who’s going to be his first-choice forward?
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You would instantly say Edouard. With 14 goals to his name this season, he surely can’t be displaced so quickly.
Then again, it’s difficult to see Weah sitting on the bench and twiddling his thumbs waiting on an opportunity. Rodgers always has the option of playing the pair up top together and going 4-4-2 or 3-5-2, but he wouldn’t sacrifice what he considers to be his footballing philosophy.
And he also hasn’t been scared in benching big-name players in the past. The likes of Patrick Roberts had to wait months on the bench before getting a chance under Rodgers. Even then, the Englishman was never a first-choice pick ahead of James Forrest under the Northern Irishman.
That means it’s all the more likely that Weah has to wait for his opportunity. Edouard will have a dip in form, and it’s likely that Weah will be given his chance to strike at that stage.
Would the £2million man immediately become third-choice?
Of course, let’s not forget about Bayo. He looks like he’s going to cost the club around £2million, and fans will want to see some promise from him.
Due to the high-profile nature of the other strikers, it would be most likely that he would have to bide his time. An injury to one could lead to some potentially rare game-time for Bayo, but it’s likely we don’t see much of him this season at all.
Rodgers has to keep his focus on winning. Celtic are under more pressure this season than they have been for years. Bayo, therefore, won’t just be given games for the sake of it.
There’s also always the case that Leigh Griffiths comes back into the reckoning. Should the Scottish international overcome his demons, a return this season could be possible.
If the Hoops have three forwards ahead of him, however, his game-time will be minimal in the final months of the campaign.
Rodgers will have some real high-class options to choose from. A Weah-Edouard partnership would be interesting, but just having one on the bench is a big boost.
How do you see Rodgers dealing with his probable striking options in the second half this season?
Do you agree with me that it’ll remain Edouard’s jersey to lose? Or will Weah immediately make his mark as the first-choice? Perhaps even Bayo will surprise us all and become undroppable.
Give us your opinions below in the comments.