With Celtic in striker hunt, 20-goal Frenchman Thomas Henry could be the answer

By Euan Davidson

March 11, 2021

Celtic are no strangers to the Belgian top-flight, so Thomas Henry is a name they will surely know.

They’re also no strangers to OH Leuven. At the eleventh hour, the Leicester City-affiliated Belgians took Filip Benkovic from our grasp. Benkovic, a former Celtic loanee, would’ve been a much-needed reinforcement for the Bhoys.

However, it isn’t just the defence that needs work. If Sunday’s draw with Dundee United proved anything, it was that Celtic need to be more clinical going forward.

A range of attacking partnerships, an Edouard +1 situation, has reaped little reward for the Bhoys. Ajeti started well but has drifted off, Griffiths is struggling for fitness and Klimala barely gets a look-in.

With Edouard incredibly likely to move on, Celtic need to reinvest in the striking department. Therefore, 26-year-old goal machine Thomas Henry might just fit the bill.

A potential Celtic target: Thomas Henry of OH Leuven / (Photo by Plumb Images/Getty Images)

Who is potential Celtic target Thomas Henry?

Henry, much like Kasper Junker, is something of a late bloomer. His most prolific seasons have been in the last two years, with OH Leuven in the second and first tiers of Belgian football. Combined, he’s scored 41 goals in 71 Leuven appearances; a more than impressive goal return for a £450k investment [Transfermarkt].

The 6’2″ Frenchman has also chipped in with assists. He’s managed 5 in 27 Jupiler Pro League outings over 20-21. Managing 1.3 key passes a game from the centre-forward spot [WhoScored?], he’s an unselfish forward who could gel well with any of Griffiths, Ajeti or Klimala.

Linked with a move to OH Leuven affiliates Leicester City [Sport/Foot Magazine] with unerring predictability, Henry is clearly aiming high. A move to European competitors would suit those ambitions down to the ground, especially with Celtic needing to replace Edouard in the summer.

In that interview with Sport/Foot, Henry said, via the medium of rhetorical questions:

“Why would I refuse to have ambitions? There’s no reason to hide. Of course I want to [move to a bigger club].

“Do I have the level? It’s not for me to say. I’m already very happy with my journey, but why not dream of going even higher?

“In any case, Belgium taught me to like change. I would not be against taking advantage of my career to discover other countries, other cultures.”

With two highly impressive seasons in succession under his belt, Henry could well be a name that pops up regularly in the rumour mill. Celtic will be more than familiar with the Jupiler Pro League by now.

It’s time to use that familiarity to good use.

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