According to the latest reports from the Northern Echo, Celtic are said to be keen in bringing in Middlesbrough’s striker Britt Assombalonga. Championship clubs Bristol City and Fulham are also said to be interested along with newly-promoted Premier League side Sheffield United.
The striker still has two years left on his contract with Middlesbrough. The Teessiders signed him for a significant fee of £15m two years ago. Therefore we do not expect him to come in cheap this summer and Celtic might have to pay top money to land him.
Does Celtic need a striker?
Odsonned Edouard is currently the talismanic man for Celtic, but he turned out to be injury-prone last season. The Frenchman made impressive contributions when he was on the pitch, but the club probably needs to manage his game time smartly.
It remains to be seen how Leigh Griffiths will go about his business this season after taking a break from football. Apart from that, the Bhoys have Vakoun Issouf Bayo who was signed in the January transfer window. Issouf Bayo is yet to be tested, and we aren’t sure how he would go about at this level. The fact that he wasn’t making the matchday squad last season showed that he is still some time away from becoming a reliable option. Therefore we think that the club should be on the lookout for one more attacking option this summer.
Lennon recently said in an interview, “I think we’ll have something (New signing) in the next few days hopefully. It might be a right-back; it might be a left-winger; it might be a centre-forward.”
Therefore it seems that Lennon also knows that his team needs to bring in one more striker.
What will Assombalonga bring to the table?
The 26-year-old can play as a striker or in a supporting role up front. His bursting pace allows him to be utilised as a winger as well from time to time. Therefore his versatility will be a big asset for Lennon. Assombalonga is also known to have that physical game which is often necessary to thrive in the Premiership.
The forward has the experience of playing in 155 games at the Championship level and has scored 59 goals. Last season the striker managed 16 goals for Middlesbrough who were often defensive in their approach. There is no doubt to us that with better service, Assombalonga would have breached the 20 goal mark.
He will be an ideal signing for Lennon due to his versatility. His goal scoring record is also decent, and his ability to stretch the defence can be a big plus for Celtic. However, we think that the Hoops might have to spend some big money to land him.