Former Hibernian man Tam McManus stated on PLZ Soccer yesterday that Vakoun Issouf Bayo isn’t someone he fancies.
He didn’t give much of a reason for that. Instead, he just stated that he didn’t fancy him, before claiming that Celtic need to keep Odsonne Edouard to win the title.
Whilst not many will argue over the latter point, pointing any criticism towards Bayo this early is totally unjust. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but Bayo is well within his rights to wonder what else he could be doing.
Last season was a total write-off. He ruptured his hamstring whilst on international duty in April, and it cost him his chance to make a Celtic impact. That was hardly his fault, but it’s a different story this season.
Bayo isn’t a key starter in this Celtic side. We know that. He’s only started two matches this season, with the rest of his nine appearances coming from the bench.
Any Bayo criticism is unjust for now
In Bayo’s two starts for Celtic, however, he’s played a key part in three goals. There was debate against Hearts in August regarding whether he actually nabbed a brace. Instead, the two goals were put down as own goals, but Bayo was central to them.
Then, in his next start, he scored a fine header against Partick Thistle in the Betfred Cup. Since then, he’s thrown himself about in some sub appearances as he looks to make his mark.
He got into some dangerous against Hibernian after being thrown on desperately. Against Livi, meanwhile, he didn’t get the required service from those around him.
He’s now settled into life in Glasgow, and spoke in the Celtic View this week about how he’s looking for more game-time and is happy with his start to the season (Volume 55, Issue 15, Pages 20-23).
McManus’ quip about Bayo is probably symbolic of how quick we are to judge players in Scotland. The truth is, Bayo deserves much more time before he can be considered a failure or not at Parkhead.
He’ll be a slow burner here, but considering his steady improvement, there are more reasons to be optimistic about the Ivorian than concerned.