It was a shock when Vakoun Issouf Bayo was named as a substitute for the recent Celtic match against Hibernian.
The team was announced on the club’s Twitter account, and Bayo’s place on the bench was certainly a surprise.
📋 Team news is in, Celts!
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) February 6, 2019
The Ivorian hadn’t made the Hoops’ squad list for the Europa League, and the thought might have been that we won’t see the best of him until next season. He did sign a four year deal with the club in January, so time is on his side.
Bayo didn’t get to make his debut in the 2-0 win over Hibernian, but his appearance on the bench is certainly intriguing.
Perhaps he has impressed in training so much that Brendan Rodgers believes he can play a part this season. Or perhaps with Leigh Griffiths and Odsonne Edouard injured, he wanted a natural striker on the bench.
He certainly has the goalscoring ability to make a name for himself. He scored 18 goals in 23 games for his previous side Dunajská Streda this season.
Of course the question remains about the standard of Slovakian football, where Bayo previously played. But the Hoops hierarchy must be confident that Bayo will make it in Scotland.
The upcoming Scottish Cup clash against St Johnstone seems like the ideal game to involve Bayo in. If the Hoops are in charge of the game, a second-half debut seems likely to occur.
Even if Bayo doesn’t make the pitch, it is a good sign for the future that he has made the first-team squad so soon.