Celtic striker Vakoun Issouf Bayo has surely now picked up a knock after missing his country’s under-23 clash with Niger yesterday.
We spoke yesterday about how he was hooked after just 14 minutes last Friday. That in itself seemed to be odd considering he’s one of Ivory Coast’s most high-profile players at that age level.
Reasons for the omission haven’t been made available. Given the low coverage of the under-23 tie between Ivory Coast and Niger, there’s been no explanation so far as to what’s happened with the Ivorian.
But, the idea of him picking up a knock now seems more plausible. That’s because the striker missed the 6-1 win over Niger last night altogether. Bayo wasn’t in the starting XI or on the subs bench either.
According to the Confederation of African Football’s match report, the Hoops forward was nowhere to be seen.
That’s a tad disappointing from a Celtic perspective. A couple of goals at international level could’ve been a timely boost for Bayo ahead of the run-in. It looks as though he’ll be coming back to Parkhead without any form of confidence booster, however.
Hopefully we get another glimpse of Bayo
The main priority is making sure that Bayo isn’t out for a considerable length of time. Neil Lennon isn’t likely to feature him much between now and the end of the season, but it would be good to get another look at him.
It hardly dents Celtic’s striking options either. As well as Odsonne Edouard up front, the Hoops also have Oliver Burke and Timothy Weah on the bench. Bayo, meanwhile, has had just one small cameo at Rugby Park since signing in January.
Hopefully it’s just a slight tweak, but it certainly comes across as though he’s picked up a knock. There’s no other plausible reason for his sudden omission from the team after a 14-minute cameo in the first-leg against Niger.
Ivory Coast have now qualified for the under-23 Africa Cup of Nations. Bayo will likely be determined to be fit for that competition in the summer. Hopefully, the towering striker can overcome whatever he’s picked up with his country.