It’s doubtful that many Celtic supporters expected Vakoun Bayo to either play or score for Neil Lennon’s team at the weekend.
However, that’s what transpired at Broadwood on Sunday after the Ivorian made a late cameo off the bench and found the back of the net in the 3-0 Scottish Cup victory over Clyde.
It was only the striker’s third appearance for the club since October and although apparently now fourth-choice striker Odsonne Edouard, Leigh Griffiths and Patryk Klimala, could be a big moment for the player in terms of getting more minutes between now and the end of the season.
As part of 67 Hail Hail’s weekly series of videos looking at Celtic topics on our YouTube channel (like and subscribe!) two site writers, Hamish Carton and John Reid, discussed his situation after the contribution.
Can the 23-year-old turn around his Hoops career and put a disappointing first year at the club behind him?
You can read a transcript of part of the conversation below.
Hamish: It’s actually really good movement. You watch him, he peels off his man, gets it and it’s just a tap-in. But the movement was really good and you’re just hoping he can now kick on from that.
John: I would hope so but it’s hard to judge. He’ll only get 10 or 15 minutes [a game] if that, he’s not even been getting that when he’s been playing. He’s been getting about five minutes, which is a shame for him.
H: When was the last time we actually saw him? Killie it was, that was in the 93rd minute or something!
J: He did well for the goal. He had another chance as well he could have done better with. I feel sorry for him, his first half-season last year was ruined because of injury. He’s not really featured that much [this season]. When he did score against Hearts he got it ruled out unjustly by the SFA twice.
H: The thing I say about Bayo, and people forget this when talking about writing him off, is he’s only started two games for Celtic. He scored in one of them and the other one was that Hearts game. I know he’s had a lot of sub appearances but that run we went through, we had the Hibs draw and the Livingston defeat, he came on as a substitute in both of those games because he was the only option as Griffiths wasn’t around and Edouard had bad days. If Edouard’s having a bad day you can’t really expect Bayo to come on and change the game. I know he’s struggled a bit and he doesn’t look everything we wanted but I do think people are a bit quick to write him off.
J: It was interesting there were reports that he wanted a loan (The Scottish Sun), that he asked to leave.
H: Is that not good though? He wants to get out and play.
J: Yeah I think that’s good, but we knocked it back and Lennon said he wants four strikers, so I was thinking he might get more chances. We’ll just need to wait and see, I think he would benefit next season going on loan but it depends what happens with Edouard.
Bayo has at least sent a message to Lennon and his coaching staff that if he does get minutes he can find himself in scoring positions.
His goals this term may have come against lower-league opposition but he’s hanging in there and is obviously showing enough in training to justify his inclusion on the bench.
Edouard and Griffiths looks like the partnership to continue with for now, but perhaps Bayo still has more to offer the club despite not really cementing his place in the first-team so far.