If there was one aspect to Cluj we should’ve been keeping an eye on tonight, it was Billel Omrani’s performance.
Celtic slipped to their first defeat in the Europa League this season as we lost 2-0 in Romania. Goals from Andrei Burca and Damjan Djokovic in the second half summed up a frustrating night for the Hoops.
There were some decent performers for Cluj on the night. Djokovic was aggressive all night, whilst Mike Cestor dealt well with Leigh Griffiths over the course of the 90 minutes.
However, one player who didn’t leave much of an impression was Omrani.
Back in the summer, Romanian outlet GSP had us linked with a £3million for him. After tonight, here’s hoping that idea is now down the drain if it wasn’t already.
Tonight, Omrani was once again on the deck more than the was in the penalty box. He showed some good levels of strength at times to hold the ball up, but he failed to get beyond Nir Bitton or Christopher Jullien once.
Omrani has had multiple chances to impress
This wasn’t just an off-day either. Out of the four times Omrani has now faced us, he’s only managed to stand out in one. That was mainly just down to the fact that he scored a penalty and a tap-in too. His overall performances against us simply don’t merit any further interest, regardless of the fact he has 13 goals this season (Transfermarkt).
Neil Lennon has already touched on the prospect of going in for another striker in January (BBC). That’s despite the fact that we now have Leigh Griffiths and Vakoun Bayo back from injury.
What’s vital is that, if we do go in for a fourth centre-forward in January, he has to be better or at least as good as what we have. Can we honestly say that Omrani has proven himself to be anywhere near the level of an Odsonne Edouard, for example?
It’s also worth noting that, since his brace against us, he’s only scored one goal in eight European matches. He’s hardly proven himself to be prolific this term.
Who knows? If we both qualify for the last-16 of the competition, we may get a further look at home. However, if we’re talking about the January transfer window, he simply hasn’t done enough to earn a move to Parkhead.
It’s starting to look more and more as though the report from Romania was simply nonsense.