Celtic’s transfer model of taking chances of talented players playing at a lower level means there are always going to be mistakes, and it’s hard to really tell what Brendan Rodgers saw in Vakoun Bayo.
Celtic paid around £2m to bring in the Ivorian striker from Slovakian football after he showed glimpses of his talent, but he failed to score in his nine league outings and Scotland and appeared to be well out of his depth.
His loan spell in Ligue 2 with Toulouse was enough to attract interest from Belgium where he played for Gent and Charleroi, but it’s surprising to see that recently relegated Watford have now decided to take a chance on him.
The Ivorian left Celtic to sign for Gent originally before being loaned to Charleroi and completing a permanent move there, so if Watford are paying a sizeable fee Celtic won’t see any of it from any sell-on clause.
The article from the Watford observer suggests that the Hornets see him as a mobile target man who’s strong in the air so perhaps they see him as a foil for others rather than a talisman, but it sounds like he’s going to be seen as a valuable first-team player next year.
Perhaps his talents are better suited to English football and that physicality may show up better in games that are more end-to-end, while his time at Celtic was spent in a possession-heavy system with opposing teams who set up to frustrate them and he wasn’t technically good enough to excel in those circumstances, so it will be interesting to see how he fares.