A new writer on The Celtic Star this morning, what follows is James McKenzie’s debut on the site as he considers possible striking additions to the Celtic squad should the unthinkable happens and Odsonne Edouard is sold for big money this summer…
If you are a Celtic fan, or an avid follower of Scottish Football, then it should serve no surprise that Celtic’s prized asset Odsonne Edouard is being chased by some of England’s top clubs, including Arsenal, who have previously snatched talented left-back Kieran Tierney from Celtic for a fee reported at around £25 million, and Leicester City, managed by former Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers, who knows the young Frenchman all too well.
Odsonne Edouard is a name that strikes fear into the hearts of defenders all across Scotland, as his quick, tricky feet and composure in front of goal prove to be a handful for defenders all across Scotland. He has hit the back of the net 21 times, and laid on a further 12 goals for his teammates in 27 Scottish premiership appearances.
It is without doubt that Celtic will do everything they can to keep Edouard, 22, at the club for the 2020/21 campaign, as the Hoops will be chasing a historic 10th league title in a row. However, should the Frenchman leave for big money in the summer, there is already a host of strikers being linked with Celtic to fill the massive hole that Edouard’s transfer would leave in the Celtic team. In this article I will be considering three potential targets and considering whether or not they could replace Odsonne Edouard.
Mohamed Sankoh – The ‘new Romelu Lukaku’ is one for the future…
Mohamed Sankoh, described as ‘new Romelu Lukaku’ is a 16-year-old Dutch striker currently playing for Stoke City in the English Championship. Sankoh is yet to make an appearance for the Stoke City first team, but he has impressed at youth level, and it is clear talent is there. According to transfermarkt, in the 19/20 U18 Premier League season he has netted 3 goals and also grabbed 3 assists in 6 games. However, his stats from the previous season, when he was just 15, are even more impressive, where he netted 6 goals and grabbed 6 assists in 10 games. He also featured twice in the Netherlands’s 2019 under-17 Euros triumph.
According to Football Insider, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton are also interested in Sankoh, so when top teams are interested in a player, there must be potential there. Sankoh’s youth contract at Stoke City runs out this summer, so it would look somewhat of a coup if the Hoops could snap him up on a free transfer.
However, Sankoh is nowhere near the finished article, and would take at least a few years of development before he can be able to play first team football for Celtic. Sankoh looks to have a bright future ahead of him, but he won’t be an Edouard replacement. If Sankoh signs for the Hoops, many will be hoping he can follow in the footsteps of fellow young Dutchman Jeremie Frimpong, who signed from Manchester City in the summer, and has unexpectedly become a hit with the Celtic fans and become Celtic’s starting right-back.
Martin Minchev – the Hoops would be taking a cheap gamble…
As reported in Scottish Sun, Celtic, along with Italian outfit Torino and Belgian side Anderlecht, all have a reported interest in Bulgarian striker Martin Minchev.
Minchev, 19, currently plays his football in his homeland for Cherno More. The teenage striker is reportedly rated at £1.5 million by the Bulgarian side. Minchev has impressed enough in his 70 appearances for Cherno More to pick up 3 caps for the Bulgarian National Team.
According to transfermarkt, in 1,718 minutes played this season the striker has grabbed six goals. However, the striker has made 75 career appearances, whilst only scoring just 10 goals. The stats lead me to believe that the Cherno more man may struggle to make an immediate impact in the Scottish Premiership, he may be able to come good. His goals have only really started to come in the last season, with six coming this season. I reckon that it would take time for the Bulgarian to make an impact here, but with the right development he could come good. At £1.5 million, the transfer isn’t that expensive, so the Hoops would be taking quite a cheap gamble if they were to make a move for Martin Minchev.
Josh Maja – Celtic could be the perfect club for the Bordeaux goalscorer
On GetFootballNewsFrance.com, a usually reliable source, Ignazio Genuardi reports that Celtic and the Rangers have both reignited their interest in the 21-year-old Nigerian striker.
Celtic & Rangers have shortlisted 21-year-old Bordeaux forward Josh Maja, ahead of what will be a bunfight summer transfer window for them as they seek to retain their current leading strikers (Morelos & Édouard). https://t.co/CqrhLXpqwW
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) May 4, 2020
Most will recognise the name from Season 2 of the Netflix show Sunderland Til i Die, as he featured prominently on the show. He smashed in 16 goals in the first half of the League One season, but, with his contract set to expire with The Black Cats at the end of the season, clubs started sniffing around, including Celtic and his eventual suiters Girondins Bordeaux of France’s Ligue 1.
He struggled for game time at his new club, but when given the chance he impressed. Maja has netted six goals and picked up two assists in just 722 minutes this season for the French side including a fantastic hat-trick in Bordeaux’s 6-0 home win over Nimes.
He averages a goal every 120 minutes according to Transfermarkt, which is an impressive statistic. I think Maja could be a great signing for Celtic and a fantastic replacement for Odsonne Edouard, should that become necessary.
Maja has struggled for gametime, but when given the chance he has impressed, with a good scoring record in one of Europe’s top 5 leagues. He just needs regular game-time to fully show off his talents and to develop as a player, and Celtic could be the perfect club for Maja to shine, and under the circumstances of Odsonne Edouard leaving this summer, Maja would be the best available option.