Celtic should be tracking 25-goal hero Kasper Junker

By Euan Davidson

December 16, 2020

Celtic have seen their fair share of excellent Scandinavian players over the years.

From Johan Mjällby to Kristoffer Ajer, via Harald Brattbakk and Stefan Johansen, a number of Swedish, Norwegian and Danish players have worn the Hoops with distinction.

If Celtic are looking to add to that list, then Kasper Junker should be on Nick Hammond’s radar.

The 26-year-old striker has managed an incredible 25 goals in 24 games at the time of writing (Transfermarkt). Additionally, he’s been a creative force, laying on 10 assists in that time.

Junker, of Norwegian champions Bodø/Glimt, hadn’t reached double figures in his career prior to this season. This year, it’s clicked for the Dane, who has already been linked to Derby County (Derbyshire Live).

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Next stop Celtic Park? Junker finds the net for Horsens in 2018 / (Photo by Lars Ronbog / FrontZoneSport via Getty Images)

Celtic’s next goal machine?

Junker, who stands at 6’1″, is not a full Danish international, but did rise through the national team’s youth ranks. His career up to now has involved a litany of moves, having played for Randers, Horsens and Stabæk before settling in Bodø in 2020.

In his last game, a 4-0 win over FK Haugesund (WhoScored?), Junker scored a hat-trick. He’s on a rich vein of scoring form that calls to mind Erling Haåland’s antics at Molde (Transfermarkt).

Most excitingly? Junker is valued by Transfermarkt at a mere £630,000. That’s a snip for a player of his immense value.

As seen from this highlight reel (YouTube), Junker is an elegant finisher, who likes to take shots with the outside of his right foot. His movement is precise and clever, calling to mind prime Leigh Griffiths. The difference between him and our current poacher, though, is that his height and physicality are a real problem for defenders.

A striker who could hit the back of the net from day 1, Junker really is a fantastic option for Celtic. Having watched Jens Petter Hauge dominate for A.C. Milan, this is another player at a cut price that the Bhoys could make use of.

Giving Milan a headache in Europa League qualification / (Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images)

Where would he fit in at Celtic?

With Leigh Griffiths struggling to find fitness and consistency at 30, Ajeti not impressing and a raw Patryk Klimala on the bench, Celtic rely heavily on Odsonne Edouard.

Inevitably, French Eddy will leave the club. However, he could easily establish a formidable partnership with Danish striker Junker before he’s sold on for significant remuneration.

Junker seems like perfect foil for Edouard; an instinctive, physical striker who can run between the lines and open up space by running at opposition defenders. Next to the Frenchman, his goalscoring exploits would presumably slow down, but his ability to find space and the spare man for an assist are impressive.

At 26, we’d be getting a striker for his peak years. Given the bizarrely low market value of Junker, he’d be a risk well-worth taking.

Junker is something of a late bloomer. 2020’s Norwegian season was the first where he hit double figures for any club. However, Henrik Larsson turned 26 just after the start of his first campaign for Celtic. Looking back, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone complaining about the club signing a low-profile Scandinavian who was valued at around £650k.

Of course, we’re getting carried away there. Nobody should expect Celtic numbers. Still, for around £1m, we might be able to add a 20-goal striker.

It’s a market we’ve used before, and one we should use again in January.

 


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