Vakoun Issouf Bayo could be the answer to cross-ball problem

By David Walton

January 16, 2019

Celtic’s John Kennedy has pointed out Vakoun Issouf Bayo’s most notable trait – his goals from cross-balls.

The Hoops have notoriously been poor from the cross-ball for a long time. Only Filip Benkovic has scored direct from a corner this season in the 5-0 mauling of Hearts at Celtic Park. Outside of that, Celtic have been wasteful.

Bayo, meanwhile, has been making his name in Slovakia scoring in exactly the same situations Celtic are blundering in. The £2million striker scored 12 league goals this season for Dunajska Streda, with half of them being headers – six.

John Kennedy (right) believes Bayo offers something different (Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

And Kennedy revealed all to the Celtic View about what supporters can expect from the new man.

“What the manager has seen in him is that he’s got a good presence, good speed and he’s athletic. In and around the box, he’s also very powerful, he’s very aggressive in the air.

“When teams are camped in and trying to defend the box, he’s the type of player who can give you the option of going around the outside, getting balls into the box and that’s where he comes into his own.

“He scores a lot of his goals from set-pieces and cross balls. He’s different in terms of balance.”

Is he the striker Celtic have been missing?

Going by those traits listed out by Kennedy, Bayo may very well be the front-man that the Hoops have been craving.

Odsonne Edouard has been in great form with 14 goals of his own in all competitions. But his ability to score from cross-balls has been totally non-existent. Leigh Griffiths has proven a tad more effective in that regard, but he continues his absence from football.

Odsonne Edouard has bagged 14 goals this season, but none have been headers (Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, many of Bayo’s goals have also come from running in behind the centre-backs. He’s always looking to make a run for the flair players to pick him out. This is another thing Celtic have been missing for much of the season.

Edouard prefers to use his close-control and link-up play to create space and find the net. Bayo, however, appears to be a lot more direct in his approach.

He certainly has plenty of exciting traits the more we learn about him. Here’s hoping we can start to see some of those on the pitch as soon as he makes his debut.