January is a great time to review whether certain moves had worked out or not – and the Toulouse switch Bayo made from Celtic certainly falls into the latter.
This looked a great deal on paper for all parties. Toulouse were getting a powerful Ivorian striker who had impressed in cameos for Neil Lennon’s side. The Hoops were able to allow Bayo to develop at a decent-sized club looking to fight their way back into Ligue 1.
As for Bayo, it was a huge opportunity to play on a weekly basis. A chance to make a real name for himself and help get promoted to one of Europe’s top leagues. Everything was set up beautifully.
And things started so promisingly too. Bayo nodded home a debut brace when Toulouse travelled to Grenoble. The Ivorian’s exploits in that August evening had Celtic fans wondering if they made the right move in loaning him out. It came only three days after Celtic were knocked out of the Champions League qualifiers by Ferencvaros. Mind that game where Lennon refused to play a striker?
Anyway, to cut a long story short, that’s as good as it’s gotten for Bayo. He set a target after his debut of scoring 20 goals for the club this season (ToulouseFC).
Toulouse form is dreadful; Bayo needs Celtic to send him elsewhere
Since that game against Grenoble, Bayo has been goalless. He’s played 11 different games with his game-time gradually lessening. Toulouse’s latest match came against Paris FC last night. Bayo didn’t play a single minute. Oh, but he did get seven of them against Pau three days before Christmas.
And it seems those in France aren’t impressed with him either. After a recent game against Nancy, popular Toulouse fan website Les Violets claimed Bayo “shows nothing”. They called his brace against Grenoble “a UFO”.
It’s clear Bayo’s struggles have now peaked. It’s going to take a ridiculous turnaround for this spell to be worthwhile. So the best thing Celtic can do is bring the striker back and get him sent away elsewhere.
There will definitely be suitors. Before he went to Toulouse, Bayo was wanted by St Mirren (Daily Record). Jim Goodwin would surely be interested again if the big striker became available. And keeping him in Scotland would be ideal too.
It’s difficult to get a gauge on where Bayo is at the moment. Things clearly aren’t going well for him, but we would have a better idea of his standard if he was plying his trade in Scotland.
There’s no reason to keep the towering striker in France. Things aren’t going to change for him. He’ll be no closer to the first team when he comes back than he was when signed by Brendan Rodgers back in January 2018. So it’s time to bring him back if possible and try to kick-start the 23-year-old’s career elsewhere.