Celtic striker Vakoun Bayo linked with move after efforts in play-off first leg

By Euan Davidson

May 28, 2021

Celtic striker Vakoun Bayo provided an assist for Toulouse last night, but couldn’t help them avoid defeat to Nantes.

Bayo set up Machado for an 18th minute screamer, but Les Violets couldn’t prevent Nantes from taking an away lead into the Ligue 1 play-off second leg [L’Equipe]. It ended a 15-game unbeaten streak at home for Toulouse, with Blas and Mouani doing the damage for the Ligue 1 side.

It’s a blow, but it’s not over yet for Bayo and company. While losing two away goals will have been a blow, their chances of promotion haven’t evaporated quite yet.

Meanwhile, Bayo has been linked with a move to FC Sochaux. L’est Republicain believes that the Ligue 1 outfit have the Ivorian on their shortlist. While Celtic negotiated an option for Toulouse to buy him outright [La Depeche], much depends on whether Les Violets can overturn their play-off deficit. Having scored 12 goals in just over 1,000 minutes this season [Transfermarkt], he’s clearly impressing scouts in France.

Bayo celebrates a goal against Partick Thistle in 2019 / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Considering the options for Celtic man Vakoun Bayo

There’s a realistic scenario that, if Toulouse decide not to bid, or can’t agree a deal, Bayo will return to Celtic. Whether the next Celtic boss will enjoy the striker’s unique skill-set is another issue. Bayo has proven in flashes this season that he’s capable of excellent link-up play, as well as being a tall, commanding presence.

He endured a difficult time at Celtic, hence his loan away from the club. However, at just 24, he still has plenty of time to adapt to the Scottish Premiership. That is if the Bhoys decide to take a second look.

Bayo has been linked elsewhere, of course. ES Tunis were said to be keen on the striker back in April. In terms of funding a rebuild, the sensible option may be to let Bayo go for a reasonable price. Having jettisoned Patryk Klimala, it seems that anything less than an instant impact for a Celtic striker is a real problem.

Bayo finds himself in direct comparison with the likes of Maryan Shved and Jack Hendry. Both of the latter are loanees who have revitalised their careers to some extent. Hendry, especially, having been selected for Scotland’s Euro 2020 squad.

Whether Celtic decide to do business or not is incumbent on a number of scenarios. In any event, Bayo has one focus only: turning around a deficit for Toulouse.

READ MORE: Pieces falling into place for the Bhoys