Why Celtic are in the market for another new striker this summer

By David Walton

June 16, 2022

When it comes to Celtic and their summer window transfer objectives, you can understand why many may raise an eyebrow at the prospect of another centre-forward coming in.

Celtic managed to land a double in Ange Postecoglou’s debut season with both Kyogo Furuhashi and Giorgos Giakoumakis playing major roles. Combined, the new strike duo bagged as many as 37 goals [Transfermarkt].

Given Ange Postecoglou has often gone with one up top over the last 12 months, the prospect of a third option may seem a touch bizarre. Especially with Albian Ajeti still at the club.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

However, the truth is that we need to remember just how fortunate we were with both players’ timing when it came to their injury woes. When Kyogo was struggling at the start of the season with a couple of knocks here and there, Albian Ajeti was given a run and failed to impress. Giakoumakis, meanwhile, spent the first half of the season struggling with fitness issues as Furuhashi went on to wow Scottish football.

But it was an injury to Kyogo in December 2021 that allowed Giakoumakis to come back in. We were fortunate the latter made such an impact, as many predicted our title chances to falter after the Japanese international’s hamstring injury.

Then, almost as if it was pre-written, Giorgos suffered another slight injury blow as soon as Kyogo returned in April. Only at the end of the season did we have both men firing on all cylinders.

Celtic fortunate strikers’ injury woes didn’t coincide

Imagine if during Kyogo’s injury problems in the early stages of 2022 that Giakoumakis then pulled up with a hamstring strain. We would’ve been left facing Ajeti or an alternative option who isn’t used to playing in the position during a vital part of the season. In other words, we likely wouldn’t have wound Rangers’ lead in.

In a way, we got away with it last season due to the fact that both men picked up their injury setbacks when the other was in form. We likely won’t get so lucky next term.

In addition to that, bringing in a reliable third option would allow Ange more flexibility to go with 2 up top. There will be times when the manager feels he needs it, and having an extra option allows us to do it more freely without worrying about injuries.

Photo by Max Maiwald/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Sky Sports have already reported that the Hoops are in the market for another centre-forward. The transfer stories surrounding the club this summer would also suggest that too. Celtic have been linked with players such as Ferencvaros’ Ryan Mmaee and Antoine Semenyo of Bristol City. It’s clear there is work on going to keep tabs on potential options.

We know that Kyogo and Giakoumakis have it in them to be sidelined for a period of time. Given the schedule we face next season, it’s going to have an affect on both. Having a reliable third option there is exactly what we need to evolve this squad further.

It allows tactical flexibility as well as boosts the depth we have in the position. In truth, it’s a no-brainer.

In other news, Celtic supporters are about to find out James Forrest’s true role under Ange