Celtic still need another striker in January; Kevin Nisbet should be the primary target
Celtic decided not to move for Kevin Nisbet in the summer, but after Albian Ajeti’s latest failed audition, the Hoops shouldn’t make the same mistake in January.
Nisbet, currently at Hibs under Jack Ross, has again started the campaign in decent form. He’s notched 4 goals and 2 assists in his first 12 appearances of the season [Transfermarkt]. Not to mention one coming at Ibrox as he notched at the home of our rivals once again.
Some will say his form isn’t blistering, and they would be right. But that’s exactly why January would be the right time to make a move for him. He’s consistently making Scotland international squads and is seriously boosting his reputation with every goal scored. The last thing we want is to try and nab him in the middle of a bidding war.
The Scottish Sun reported over the summer that Celtic were interested in Nisbet. Back then, he was said to be worth £4m. In more recent times, however, Hibernian have been reportedly trying to nail him down on a new contract [The Herald].
At the moment, his deal in Leith expires in the summer of 2024 in any case. So it likely won’t make any major difference to potential negotiations.
Nisbet is a proven goalscorer, and a predatory finisher that has managed the step-up whenever it’s been presented to him. Goals at Ibrox and Celtic Park were only part of a superb 18-goal campaign in which he also contributed 8 assists in [Transfermarkt].
Kevin Nisbet abilities don’t just end with his goalscoring
Nisbet also offers a towering presence in the final third with strong aerial ability. He can hold the ball up and bring others into play, making him an ideal option for Ange Postecoglou’s one up-front system.
The Hibs man possesses the traits that Ajeti just doesn’t have. Yes, Postecoglou only plays a one up top system, but you still need 3 reliable strikers you can count on. Kyogo and Giorgos Giakoumakis will hopefully be 2 of them, but we know we can’t rely on Ajeti anymore.
Besides, Celtic should still have at least 3 reliable strikers in any case. There will be times when Postecoglou wants to go with 2 up top. Even if Ajeti would be more suited to a partner, Nisbet would be far more effective.
Granted, it’s not as easy as simply selling Ajeti. You need both a buyer and an agreement. The fact he’s still even here is a sign we haven’t had much on the way of those over the summer.
But Celtic can’t afford a repeat of what happened in September. Ajeti had a run in the team and we were toothless in the final third. A repeat of that and we’re in big bother. Acquiring Nisbet in January, even at £4m, would be worth it if we avoided another run like that.
Hopefully, Celtic spring back into action in the new year and make a move for the Hibs star. If we don’t, you can bet someone else will.