If Vakoun Bayo goes, it's probably good business for Celtic

By Euan Davidson

April 28, 2021

Vakoun Bayo is being linked elsewhere, and maybe that’s good news for Celtic.

According to the Sun, Vakoun Bayo is being linked to ES Tunis, the Champions of Tunisia. It’d be a familiar setting for the Ivorian, who played for ES Sahel for three years before moving to mainland Europe. While it might represent a regressive move for the centre-forward, it seems like one that’s best for all parties.

Now, to be clear: I never like writing off a Celtic player. It doesn’t matter how useless they are, it just feels wrong not to get behind the squad. Whether that’s misplaced loyalty or not, there are still so many players I wish we hadn’t got rid of. Even when they’ve made little impact after leaving Celtic, there’s still a tinge of regret there.

But in this case, it’s hard to envision a Celtic future for Vakoun Bayo. He seemed a strange signing at the time, from DAC Dunajska Streda in the Fortuna Liga in Slovakia. While, yes, scouring those kinds of leagues for talent is absolutely the right idea, it’s not worked out in recent seasons. Marian Shved is the other clear example here.

There are plenty of us who’d like Celtic to have a Plan B when matches become physical and slower. We’ve had difficulties turning draws into wins this term, and it’d be great to have someone we could throw on up front for headers, or to knock down long passes. Bayo, by every metric, seems like he’d be that person.

Vakoun Bayo in Celtic training / (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group via Getty Images)

If Toulouse was the acid test, it’s hard to envision a Celtic future for Vakoun Bayo

With no disrespect to the second tier of French football, where we found Christopher Jullien, Bayo would’ve been expected to do more at Toulouse. He’s been in and out of the team, and hasn’t been as prolific as he was in Slovakia. Again: Celtic did right to scout him and sign him. His form in the Fortuna Liga was considerable: he scored 10 goals in 16 games before signing for us [Transfermarkt].

That being the case, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of momentum behind a Bayo return. Foremost, we don’t know who the next manager will be. Every indication suggests we won’t need a target man in the style of Bayo. Granted, it would be good to get him back for a pre-season, but by then, the opportunity to demand a fee for the striker might have passed. With so much surgery needed to this Celtic side, Bayo may be another casualty, like Manny Perez, Andrew Gutman, Patryk Klimala before him.

Perhaps, Shved and Jack Hendry will soon follow suit.

Tough decisions need to be made here. Ultimately, if Celtic can earn a profit from players who weren’t deemed good enough for a season as bad as this, then it’s a big win for the club.

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