Fire power: 3 potential Celtic free agent targets to grab goals
Celtic free agent targets? Again? Yes, we know, we spoil you.
The facts are the following: Celtic’s strikers just haven’t been that good this season. While Edouard has scored 12 in 19 in the Premiership [Transfermarkt], we just haven’t seen that much production out of Griffiths, Ajeti or Klimala.
Regardless of how highly you rate Edouard this season, we’ve been lost without him. During injury spells, or time spent recovering from Covid-19, his supporting cast haven’t impressed. There’ve been flashes of Ajeti showing why he’s a £5m player, but only sporadically.
French Eddy seems almost certain to leave in the summer, if the club are to get any money for him. Everyone from Real Madrid to West Ham United have been linked to our star man.
Therefore, Celtic need strikers. Luckily for the club, there are some excellent young free agent options this summer. Unfortunately, though, there’s going to be a hell of a lot of competition for their signatures.
Goals and potential aplenty. Here we go.
Folarin Balogun, Arsenal
The famed Arsenal academy has bore fruit in recent seasons. Particularly this year, the likes of Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith-Rowe and Reiss Nelson have been getting opportunities under Mikel Arteta.
However, Arsenal are stacked up front. Alexandre Lacazette, Pepe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang et al may be labouring a little this season. They are, though, over £100m worth of striking talent combined. The likes of Folarin Balogun, then, may have to move on.
Balogun is yet to sign a new contract with the Gunners [The Guardian]. That’s odd, given that he’s scored at nearly every opportunity. With the first-team, Balogun has 2 in 4 in the Europa League, 1 in 2 in the EFL trophy. For the U23s, in the Premier League 2, he’s scored 7 in 13, with 2 assists [Transfermarkt].
So, despite all the talent in front of him, you can understand why he might be a little antsy. The American-born England youth international could undoubtedly flourish elsewhere. Celtic fans should hope it’s in the East End of Glasgow.
Aleksander Buksa, Wisla Krakow
On the more experimental end of the scale, Alexander Buksa is an 18-year-old and Poland youth international. While he hasn’t been able to boast the wildly exciting output of Folarin Balogun, Buksa is well worth a punt. Work permit issues may arise, but he has league appearances under his belt.
Buksa has slowly but surely gained exposure to the Polish top-flight. He’s only played 181 minutes, spread over 9 matches, but his youth international experience shows enormous potential [YouTube]. He’s tall, strong and lightning quick, with an excellent range of passing and tidy in the finish.
Yes, he’s undoubtedly more of a risk than the other two options you’ll find here. That said, for exactly £0, Buksa is being called “the next Lewandowksi”, and Wolves are keen [HITC]. His agent is Pini Zahavi, who represents Beram Kayal.
So, all things considered, if Celtic can get this done it would be an exciting capture. There is a lot that Buksa needs to develop in his game. But if he can do that with the Bhoys, then it would be quite the coup.
Janni Serra, Holstein Kiel
You see, other websites might have talked up the prospect of Troy Deeney joining us. Alternatively, Zlatan or Danny Welbeck are available in the summer.
There’s a whole list here [Transfermarkt]. Maybe Celtic will approach 30-year-old Christian Benteke? Etc, etc. No, on 67 Hail Hail, you get cooler names. Names you can take to your group chat with confidence. Names like Janni Serra, of Holstein Kiel.
Former BVB youth prospect Serra has been on impressive form in the 2. Bundesliga. He’s managed 7 goals this season, a decent return at just 22 years of age. The German has represented Germany at U21, U19, U18 and U17 level, and while he’s in the second tier, there’s still potential there.
Tall but mobile, Serra is a decent finisher with prowess in the air. He would definitely represent a different option for whoever joins Celtic in the summer, combining physicality with deftness of touch.