Celtic In Race With English Clubs For This 24 Year Old Striker: Should Lennon Make A Move For Him?

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 10: Uche Ikpeazu of Hearts applauds fans as he is substituted during the Scottish Cup 5th Round match between Heart of Midlothian and Auchinleck Talbot at Tynecastle Stadium on February 10, 2019 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

According to reports from Sky Sports journalist Lyall Thomas writing for West London Sport, Celtic are showing interest in Hearts of Midlothian’s striker Uche Ikpeazu. Along with the Glaswegian giants, English outfit QPR are also said to be interested. The report also adds that clubs like Wigan, Bristol City and Derby County had him scouted earlier this year.

Ikpeazu has done well while leading the line for Hearts, and he was rewarded with a new contract not too long ago. Reports in April came out that Hearts will demand close to £1m for their striker who is contracted at the club until 2022.

The striker has played six games in the Premiership this season and has scored two and assisted two goals. Ikpeazu has missed a few games due to injuries, but he is expected to be back after the international break.

Does Celtic need strikers?

Odsonne Edouard is currently the no. 1 striker at the club, but beyond him, Lennon must be uncertain about his best option. Leigh Griffiths has faded in the last 7-8 months as he had taken time off from football due to mental health issues. He is back on the pitch this season but has struggled with injuries. It is yet not certain whether Griffiths would be able to get back to his best.

Apart from him, Lennon has Vakoun Issouf Bayo as the other option. The January signing hasn’t had much of a run in the first team so the jury is out on him whether he could lead the line consistently in the absence of Edouard. Hence, we think that Celtic should be on the lookout for a striker as a significant injury to Edouard could derail their campaign.

Will Ikpeazu be a good option?

The striker bagged eight goals in 26 appearances in all competitions last season. Ikpeazu might not have been a prolific goalscorer, but he is always a handful for the defenders in the attacking third. He is reliable, robust and has a dogged playing style which defenders would never like. Ikpeazu can hold up play well using his strength, and he is strong in the air, given his height and physical prowess.

We think that in a Celtic team with plenty of quality playmakers behind him, he can have a good goal scoring season. There are some question marks over him, but the 24-year-old will be a convenient backup striker for Celtic as he can make a difference in the attacking third.

Sports Management Graduate. Wannabe sports manager/writer and researcher. If not found disscussing about sports, will be seen talking about movies or tv shows. Miserable rest of the times.