Report: Pieros Sotiriou leaves Copenhagen two days before Celtic tie

By David Walton

February 18, 2020

Copenhagen striker Pieros Sotiriou has reportedly left the club for Astana just two days before he was due to face Celtic, according to Ekstra Bladet.

Ekstra Bladet state that the striker left the club’s training base earlier today after saying farewell to his team-mates. After driving away from the facility, he reportedly told the source that he was indeed off to Astana.

Copenhagen have also reportedly managed to reel in €5million for his services. However, that won’t compensate for the blow it will do to them ahead of the Celtic game. Sotiriou was Copenhagen’s top scorer with 13 goals for the season so far, and had played in every minute of their Europa League group stage campaign too. (Transfermarkt).

Copenhagen’s Sotiriou (Lars Ronbog / FrontZoneSport via Getty Images)

Manager Stale Solbakken has also reacted to the departure today too. Speaking to Ekstra Bladet, he had the following to say on the current situation:

“The timing could be better. I acknowledge that. We wish the change could happen a few weeks later.

Of course it’s a pity that it happens before our matches against Celtic. But I am now convinced that we, with Dame N’Doye, Michael Santos and Mikkel Kaufmann, will probably make it.”

A hammer blow for Copenhagen and a huge boost for Celtic

Make no mistake, this is massive. Sotiriou has clearly had a huge influence on both their domestic and European success this season. With him missing out, that takes away what’s clearly Copenhagen’s most productive threat.

Dame N’Doye was likely to start alongside Sotiriou regardless, but now it looks as though they’ll have to go with another alternative to parter him. Mikkel Kaufmann only has seven strikes this season and all of them have come in their domestic league (Transfermarkt). Michael Santos, meanwhile, has six for the season (Transfermarkt).

Neil Lennon must be delighted with such a development only days before our Europa League last-32 clash kicks off in Denmark. There’s no time for Copenhagen to bring in another recruit either, and Solbakken’s words pretty much confirm that too.

Pieros Sotiriou (Jan Christensen / FrontzoneSport via Getty Images)

They do have alternatives that they’ll hope can make an impact. However, allowing their top scorer to leave so close to the game must be highly deflating for the Copenhagen supporters.

If Celtic had done something similar with Odsonne Edouard there would’ve been an outcry and rightly so. Regardless, it’s an incredible development so close to the game.

Let’s hope it all works out in our favour come kick-off.