Well, luckily for you, here you are. Celtic desperately need forwards; either on the flanks, or scoring goals up front. With Odsonne Edouard likely away before too long, Leigh Griffiths’ future remaining uncertain, our two “first choice” strikers may be unavailable soon. Add to that the patchy form of Albian Ajeti, and the likelihood of Bayo being sold, and it’s a bit desperate.
Now, there are caveats here. To go over them again, it can’t be anyone who’s been previously linked to Celtic. Of course we want Kevin Nisbet, for example. Also, how recently they’ve moved to their current club, their evaluation and the likelihood of them signing for Celtic have all been taken into consideration.
Otherwise, this list would be Kylian Mbappé, Robert Lewandowski and Harry Kane.
Here you are then; three forwards to whet the appetite. Make sure to keep an eye out for this trio.
Oleksandr Zubkov – a breakout star for Euro 2020?
“Zubkov… Zubvok, where have I heard that name?”
Bear with me – Oleksandr Zubkov plays for Ferencvaros. Yes, I know, that Ferencvaros, the surprise package who knocked us out of the Champions League last season [BBC]. But he actually missed that game, and that was probably good news for Celtic, because the ex-Shakhtar Donetsk man is a handful.
A right-sided winger, Zubkov moved from the Ukrainian side in 2019, initially on loan. Twice a Ukrainian champion with Shakhtar, and thrice a Ukrainian Cup winner, Zubkov also has two Hungarian titles to his name. Not bad going, and at 24 he could still win plenty of silverware.
Able to play on both wings, much like modern wingers in general these days, Zubkov is quite physical for his position. He takes challenges in his stride, and is adept at drifting centrally to finish moves. He featured in the Champions League for Ferencvaros this season past, and has amassed 11 caps so far.
Expect to hear the Ukrainian’s name over the next month; he’s also a solid shout for your Fantasy Team.
2. Bundesliga star Dawid Kownacki really ought to be playing at a higher level. The Fortuna Düsseldorf forward can play centrally, or on either side, and it’s likely he’ll feature on the wing for Poland, what with Robert Lewandowski being the main man for the Poles.
In the second tier of German football, Kownacki scored 7 and assisted a further 5. He’s well-travelled at 24, having shone in the Bundesliga, Serie A with Sampdoria and in Poland with Lech Poznan.
He may not be a 20-goal striker, or at least he hasn’t been yet. But he’s a danger across the final third, as likely to set up a goal as finish it by himself.
Kownacki also provides an aerial threat for Düsseldorf and Poland, holds on to the ball well, and attracts 1.1 fouls per 90 [WhoScored?], making him a dangerous opposition player.
János Hahn – at Euro 2020 after a great season
Goals. János Hahn just knows goals. The Hungarian centre-forward might be one of the surprise packages in Euro 2020, because if he’s firing, Hungary will be more than worth a watch.
The centre-forward, 26, has just two caps for Hungary, but his form for Paksi FC has been too ridiculous to ignore. In just 31 outings this season, he scored 24 and assisted 5. For emphasis, that’s 29 goal contributions in 31 games. We could use some of that, to be honest.
The next argument: “but he plays in the Hungarian league”, well so do Ferencvaros. Snobbery about leagues around Europe isn’t really our strong suit any more. Hahn had a breakthrough season in 20-21, hitting 20+ goals for the first time in his career, which has largely been spent with Paksi.
Yeah, it’s a bit of a risk; he’s unproven at a higher level, and hasn’t competed in European football. However, he could well impress, with the underrated Hungarian side looking to make a mark in Euro 2020. The smart money says he might chip in with a goal or two.