Reported Celtic target Nick Powell moves to Stoke City

By Hamish Carton

June 11, 2019

Celtic won’t be signing Nick Powell this summer after the reported target made the decision to join Stoke City.

The news was reported by Bleacher Report’s Dean Jones who said the former Manchester United man had an opportunity to move to the Scottish champions.

We’ll never really know if the club made a move for the forward who netted eight goals for Wigan Athletic in the Championship last season. What we do know is that he won’t be leading the line for the Hoops anytime soon.

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Do Celtic need another striker?

Neil Lennon caused a stir in April by suggesting that Celtic’s summer priority should be a striker. The Herald reported the then interim boss saying: “Centre forward would be the position I would look at if I was the manager.”

Lennon is now the boss so it seems pretty obvious that he’s going to look to strength our frontline.

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We’ve got three forwards on our books at present. Odsonne Edouard is the leading candidate after a strong first full season in the Hoops. The Frenchman netted 23 goals, including big ones at Hampden and in Europe, but still has so much to offer.

Leigh Griffiths is another reliable option to get us goals. The forward is the only man in the current squad who has netted more than 100 for Celtic. He’s not featured since December though so could take some time to get back up to speed next year.

Then there’s Vakoun Issouf Bayo. The 22-year-old Ivorian is the unknown quantity in Celtic’s attacking ranks. He’s featured just once since joining from Dunajska Streda in January – coming on as a late substitute in a match against Kilmarnock.

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His record is Slovakia was prolific though. Bayo netted 10 goals in 16 appearances in the first-half of last season. He’s likely to be a hit or a miss at Celtic, nothing in between. That’s usually how strikers turn out at our club.

Our need for a striker will depend entirely on the starts made by Griffiths and Bayo. If the pair can both offer something to the first-team then we should be all set. Otherwise, we may need to look at bringing one or even two new recruits in.