The outcome of the current term is yet to be decided despite SPFL’s voting chaos. The indefinite suspension of the game in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak has led to uncertainties across the globe. However, Celtic have already started working behind the scenes to strengthen themselves for next season.
They are determined to shore up their decade-long dominance irrespective of Rangers’ resurgence in recent years and exploring the market extensively to rope in a new ‘number 9’ amid rumours of Odsonne Edouard’s summer exit following yet another high-scoring campaign in the Hoops’ colours.
Caleb Ekuban, the Trabzonspor centre-forward has been one of the many names that have popped up as a potential alternative and the club’s president Ahmet Agaoglu has now set an asking fee of £9m for the Italy-born Ghana international, according to Turkish outlet Fotomac.
The 26-year-old revived his form in Turkey recovering from a disastrous spell with Leeds United and is now in the headlines after scoring eight and assisting six times in 25 appearances (stats via Transfermarket) across all competitions. He is also being targeted by the Bhoys’ Old Firm rivals Rangers (according to the GhanaSoccerNet) to succeed in-demand Alfredo Morelos. Still, the quoted sum seems to be too high to gamble on considering the monetary constraints of Scottish football.
Should Celtic Meet Trabzonspor’s Demand?
Ekuban has exhibited great composure with his all-round ability, awareness in and around the box and high work ethics but, at the same time, is way behind of ‘French Eddie’ in terms of number and statistics. Edouard has enjoyed a 28-goal campaign so far before the lockdown, justifying the club-record £9m fee the club forked out to secure his services at the Paradise.
Although the Turkish Super Lig is more competitive and combative compared to Premiership, Celtic require an outright striking option who would add goals to their game week in, week out similar to what the Frenchman has produced so far since plying his trade from Paris Saint-Germain. The post-pandemic football would struggle financially, and the Hoops might be forced to restrict themselves from plotting yet another big-money transfer.
Leigh Griffiths is back among goals whereas Patryk Klimala, the young Polish sensation, is tipped to succeed in the long run. Neil Lennon should rely on the pair rather than investing in Ekuban and prefer internal solutions/fair priced transfers if the budget crisis persists later this year.