Report: Former Celtic striker Vakoun Bayo set for surprising UK return

By David Walton

June 21, 2022

Former Celtic striker Vakoun Bayo is set to return to the UK just one year after leaving Parkhead as he prepares to move to Watford, according to the Watford Observer.

Bayo signed for Celtic back in January 2018 in a £2m move [Glasgow Times]. However, he only managed 17 appearances and 2 goals during his 3 years contracted to the Hoops [Transfermarkt].

The Ivorian signed for Genk last summer but was farmed out on loan to Charleroi. After an impressive 11 goals in 16 games the Belgian club triggered an option to sign him permanently just a month ago. But now, he surprisingly appears set to join Watford in the Championship instead.

Photo by VIRGINIE LEFOUR/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

The report states that the striker has agreed terms with the Hornets, and is apparently seen as the kind of player who can immediately compete for a starting spot.

That means Watford, should he complete his move there, will become his 4th club in under a year.

Celtic managed to bag £1.4m for Bayo’s permanent exit last summer – a figure that surprised many given his lack of success here [Scottish Sun].

Former Celtic man Vakoun Bayo in desperate need of some stability

Bayo was never a big-hitter at Celtic Park despite being handed a short stint in the side by Neil Lennon.

There were signs of a useful player in the Ivorian. However, the problem was he just didn’t suit the style we were trying to play either under Lennon or Brendan Rodgers before him.

Bayo did have great aerial presence and certainly gave Celtic a different option. But he was simply too slow and clumsy at times when trying to hold the ball up. That’s what ultimately led to the chances drying up for him. Not to mention the quality that was ahead of him in the pecking order too.

Photo by JASPER JACOBS/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

He was certainly a hard worker. He was always fully committed when going for the ball and tried to make the most of the rare chances he received. And that’s what makes it pleasing to see him landing on his feet with a move to Watford.

Bayo’s form for Charleroi was hugely impressive last term in the Belgian top flight. At only 25 years of age there’s clearly room for him to progress further too.

It’ll be interesting to see how he copes with the more physical Championship environment down south. Good on him for picking things up after his Celtic departure in any case.

In other news, Ange will show a ruthless edge with Vinicius Souza and other Celtic sticking points this summer