Our View: Andraz Sporar has the penalty box skills to thrive at Celtic

By John McGinley

December 19, 2019

The speculation surrounding Celtic’s interest in striker Andraz Sporar has been reignited today after comments from his club Slovan Bratislava that suggest the Hoops have made an offer for his services.

Transfer reports linking the player with a move to Glasgow were initially denied by Neil Lennon (The Scottish Sun), but there may be more to this one than that.

As quoted by Slovakian outlet Pravda, Bratislava’s general manager Ivan Kmotrik said: “It is true that Celtic has sent us a specific offer and has shown an enormous interest in Andraz Sporar. Other strong clubs from countries such as France, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Belgium have also heard from us.”

The club official also claims an offer of as much as €8m could be needed to land him.

At the moment we have Odsonne Edouard leading the charge in the final third, ably supported by regular goalscorer Ryan Christie.

However, with Vakoun Bayo and Leigh Griffiths not really breaking into the team this season, the argument is we need more depth.

So what would Celtic be getting for that kind of cash? What kind of forward is Sporar and how could he fit in at Celtic?

Celtic target Andraz Sporar / (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

Prolific in the penalty box

One of the best sources of data on Sporar’s season to date comes from WhoScored, who have pretty in-depth numbers on how he’s performed in the Europa League this season.

Sporar played in all six of his side’s group stage fixtures, going up against Wolves, Braga and Besiktas.

The 25-year-old provided a good return for his club, netting five goals, scoring against each club at least once.

Rather encouragingly, when it comes thinking about a Celtic impact, all five of those came from inside the penalty box. Of his 18 shots on goal, again a large proportion came from inside the area, 17 in total.

He looks to be a player that thrives on getting on the end of chances, rather than being a more creative talent. Arguably that’s what Celtic need most right now.

Celtic target Andraz Sporar / (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

What Celtic are missing?

Don’t get me wrong, I adore Odsonne Edouard and I certainly don’t think we should be looking to replace him in the Celtic team.

Any signing that Lennon makes should be as a potential foil for the Frenchman, or simply someone who can compete for places.

However, as evidenced at Tynecastle last night, sometimes the Hoops can be a little wasteful in front of goal.

If we had a genuine poacher in the team who could finish off chances and score with more consistency, it could help us take our game up a level again.

Sporar hasn’t only shone in the Europa League this term. In total for Slovan Bratislava he’s netted a mighty 20 goals in 26 games (Transfermarkt). Last season he scored 34 in 36 appearances (Transfermarkt).

That’s the kind of striker I want to see at Celtic.

With that kind of output, coupled with Edouard’s supreme skills, we could be a runaway train up against defences at home and abroad.