Sky Sports pundit and ex-Celtic star Kris Commons believes that the club needs to sign someone in the mould of Troy Deeney.
The Watford striker is known to be a powerful forward but also has the pace to get in behind defences. The Premier League man has been playing at the top level for several years now, and has been a constant thorn at the top level.
Looking through our own set of frontmen, Celtic don’t necessarily have the perfect blend of power and pace. Odsonne Edouard relies more on quick feet than out-and-out pace, but does have the strength to shrug of defenders. Leigh Griffiths, meanwhile, isn’t as quick as we once was whilst Vakoun Bayo hasn’t shown anything yet.
Commons believes the centre-forward position is a problem for Celtic, and speaking in the Daily Mail (02/01, page 78) he made the Deeney comparison.
“Id Celtic can keep Edouard fit, then they have every chance of winning the league again.
“But I do think it may be worth Neil Lennon going out and getting a striker in the mould of a Troy Deeney. Or someone with blistering pace who can come off the bench because the substitutes are not making a difference to the dynamic of this Celtic team.”
Commons’ bench observation is spot on
One of the key success stories of the Brendan Rodgers era was the quality we had in reserve. At times we were able to bring on the likes of Patrick Roberts, Stuart Armstrong, and a fully-sharp Griffiths to change games.
Our strength on the bench still reads at a similar level. Olivier Ntcham, Tom Rogic, and Griff are all regulars on the subs list. Yet, time and time again we aren’t seeing enough of an impact when we bring players on.
Griffiths has come on nine times since his return from injury and failed to score in any (Transfermarkt). Vakoun Bayo, meanwhile, has been brought on as a sub on 10 different occasions and has also scored zero in those matches (Transfermarkt).
Our strikers aren’t coming on and making a difference. Commons is spot on to make that observation, and he’s also right about not having a striker with out-and-out pace.
When he wants to be, Edouard can be fast. However, when he’s on the ball, he likes to beat men with his feet as opposed to his sprints. Griffiths, meanwhile, is struggling to show the same level of speed he did a couple of years ago. We’re in severe need of a forward who can come on late in a game and get in behind backlines.
We can dream on about actually getting Deeney, but someone with his combined pace and power wouldn’t come cheap regardless. It’s all about talent-spotting now, and Lennon has a big month ahead of him.