Report: Celtic keen on 18-goal Gabon international Aaron Boupendza

By David Walton

March 15, 2021

Celtic are one of many clubs interested in the clinical Gabon international Aaron Boupendza, according to website 90Min.

The report states that Glasgow rivals Rangers are also interested, along with Tottenham, Leicester, Crystal Palace, Southampton, Wolves, Brighton, West Ham, and Newcastle United respectively.

Boupendza is has been in red-hot form in the Turkish Super Lig this season, bagging a superb 18 goals in 28 appearances for Hantayspor [Transfermarkt]. 90Min state that Southampton have sent scouts to watch him, whilst the player is said to prefer a move to the English Premier League.

The Gabon international has regularly played alongside Arsenal superstar Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang for the Gabon national team. He has three goals in 15 appearances since his international debut back in January 2016.

90Min report that the player was close to a £7m move to Kuban Krasnodar, before he rejected the move to Russia. Fenerbahce are another club said to be interested if he would prefer to stay in Turkey.

Pace, power, goalscoring ability – is Aaron Boupendza the next number one Celtic striker?

Celtic are going to need to invest in the centre-forward position in the summer. Odsonne Edouard is going to be into the final year of his contract, and selling him on for decent profit is a must for the club. It doesn’t take a genius to suggest he’ll be gone.

When he is, Celtic will then be in a situation where they need to source a suitable replacement. £2m project buys won’t cut it either. Fans will want to see proper investment on a striker with Edouard-like potential.

Whilst Boupendza is two years older than Eddy, he certainly has potential. He has pace, power, and a clear eye for goal. He can also play anywhere across the front three. In fact, despite being a recognised centre-forward, 12 of his goals have come when playing on the left side of the attack [Transfermarkt].

Hantayspor striker Aaron Boupendza celebrates vs Besiktas (Photo by Burak Milli/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Fans may be a touch concerned with his track record before this year of course. Last season, he failed to net a single goal in 12 games for Portuguese second-tier outfit CD Feirense. That followed another goalless campaign and only 11 appearances for Ajaccio in France. However, he’s found his scoring touch this season and appears to be a late bloomer.

Boupendza does have experience of winning a title. But it came back in 2018 with Pau in the Championnat National – France’s third-tier.

But the Turkish Super Lig is no joke. It’s of a higher quality than the Scottish Premiership. He’s netted against sides like Besiktas, Istanbul Basaksehir, and Fenerbahce this season. If Celtic are looking for an Edouard replacement, Boupendza may be one to keep an eye on.

In other news, reading between the lines, it looks clear that Celtic vs Rangers is set to go ahead.