Former Celtic striker Darren Jackson surprised Bhoys didn't go for Lydon Dykes

By Euan Davidson

October 13, 2021

Former Celtic striker Darren Jackson remains surprised that the Bhoys didn’t launch a bid for Scotland star Lyndon Dykes.

Dykes, who scored in consecutive games for Scotland over the international break, moved to QPR in summer 2020. At the same time, the Hoops brought in Albian Ajeti for considerably more.

With 4 in his last 4 games for Scotland [Transfermarkt], the Australian-born ex-Livingston striker has been on hot form for his adopted country. In the Championship with QPR, he’s scored 16 in 53 outings.

Having scored against Celtic in the past, as well as helping Livingston achieve a 5th place finish in 19-20 [SPFL], rumours were abound that a Scottish big hitter would take a punt on Dykes. Instead, he went to play for Mark Warburton.

Jackson, speaking to Sky Sports, is still confused by Celtic and Rangers’ indecision over the striker.

The ex-Hoops star said [Sky Sports]:

“I raved about him when I went to watch him at Livingston. I was surprised he didn’t move to one of the Old Firm, but they chose not to take him and he’s gone down south.

“He’s not just a big striker, he’s mobile.

“You see the two goals he’s scored, getting across people, he’s mobile in the box as well. He doesn’t just stand as a big striker, his movement in the box is good. I think he’s a fantastic player.”

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Would Celtic have benefitted from buying Lyndon Dykes in 2020?

You could realistically argue that Dykes would’ve been a smarter purchase than Albian Ajeti. Not only would he have been cheaper, but he’s a player who was well-accustomed to the Scottish top-flight.

At the time, though, Ajeti was the ex-FC Basel and West Ham United player, with caps for Switzerland and a strong scoring pedigree. Dykes had just hit 9 goals in the 19-20 season. Nothing was guaranteed.

Similarly, his domestic form compares quite poorly to what he does for Scotland. Yes, his national team exploits are valued highly, but he managed 12 goals in 42 games last season for QPR. It’s fine, yes, but it’s not the outstanding form that would necessarily have made the Celtic board rue their decision.

Photo by Clive Brunskill /Allsport

Also, it’s not as if Celtic buy many players from domestic opposition much any more. The days of signing Chris Killen and Derek Riordan from Hibs are long gone.

In fact, Youssuf Mulumbu and Scott Bain are the most recent Celtic players brought in from top-flight clubs. That was the 18-19 season.

So, do Celtic have something to regret here? Is Darren Jackson right to still be surprised?

That’s your call to make. For what it’s worth though, there’s no guarantee that Dykes would’ve got games, nor capture his international form on the domestic scene. Would he even have been picked for Scotland without playing regularly in a hypothetical Celtic move?

Read more: Celtic striker Giakoumakis “can score between 15 and 20 goals” says former DoF