Today was a good chance to have a look at Uche Ikpeazu vs Rangers in order to see if he would be worth looking into.
And, after watching him for around 50 minutes against the Ibrox side, he once again proved he isn’t Celtic class just yet.
There was absolutely no denying the hard work the big Englishman put into the game. He’s always throwing himself about and trying to use his strength to both win and shield the ball. But he lost the ball far too often despite winning it just as much.
He continues to be an aerial threat, but this was his big chance to shine. Nothing would’ve impressed Celtic fans more than putting Rangers to the sword in a cup semi-final. But Ikpeazu just didn’t do enough to stand out.
It’s easy to say he holds the ball up well and brings others into play. That’s fair enough, but his stats read absolutely dreadfully this season.
He’s made 15 appearances now for the Jambos this season. His goal return? Two. And don’t be fooled – 11 of those have been from the starting line-up.
Ikpeazu is a handful, but not a lot more
Ikpeazu continues to be what he’s good at – he’s a battering ram. He’s thrown on to make life uncomfortable for the opposition defence. He does it well, but how can anyone watch him and think he suits Neil Lennon’s system?
He doesn’t have the pace to last in Celtic’s starting XI. The striker isn’t any better than Odsonne Edouard or Leigh Griffiths either. Why bring anyone in who quite clearly isn’t any better than that pair?
Ikpeazu, of course, can’t be blamed for Hearts’ 3-0 loss to Rangers. That would be nonsensical. But there was nothing there to suggest that Celtic should jump right in for him. Just as there wasn’t much to suggest it during their 1-1 draw at Tynecastle with Rangers last month either.
Celtic were linked with the big forward as recently as last month (West London Sport). Thankfully, there hasn’t been any follow-up on it. Neil Lennon hasn’t mentioned him whatsoever either.
It looks as though the club won’t be making a move for him in January as it stands. And after another quiet display from Ikpeazu today, it only adds to the evidence for why we shouldn’t.