Pundit calls out two underperforming Celtic stars and pinpoints 'sore one' that got away
With their 10-in-a-row dream officially dead by early March and meek exits from four cup competitions, there will be much for Celtic to chew on when they reflect on this season.
Pride is all interim manager John Kennedy’s side have to play for in their remaining three matches, and one factor in their miserable campaign has been a lack of goals.
Only two players have achieved double figures this season. Odsonne Edouard unsurprisingly tops the table with 20, followed by Moi Elyounoussi on 17.
Neither player is likely to be at the club next season, with the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham and Leicester all having been mentioned as possible destinations for Edouard and Southampton man Elyounoussi’s loan spell coming to an end.
£5m signing Albian Ajeti has returned just six goals in 29 appearances since joining from West Ham for £5 million, while Leigh Griffiths has struggled for fitness and contributed just seven in 24.
Patryk Klimala, meanwhile, scored just three in 28 before securing his move to New York Red Bulls last week.
Scott McDonald had no such problems in a Hoops shirt, scoring 64 times in 128 appearances for the club.
Speaking to the Sunday Post, he lamented his old club’s failure to land Brentford striker Ivan Toney, who confirmed on page 51 of April’s FourFourTwo print edition that he came close to joining the Scottish club last summer.
McDonald said: “I remember watching him (Toney) two or three years ago for Peterborough against Middlesbrough, and he really caught my eye.
“He had presence and pace. He looked to have the raw materials to go a long way.
“When Celtic were linked with him, I was excited. There was no doubt in my mind he’d do well. But a fee couldn’t be agreed and he went to Brentford. That was a blow.
“Look at how well he is doing in the English Championship, so it’s a sore one to miss out on.
“The club ended up getting Ajeti, but it’s not been a great season for the Swiss striker. He has been in and out.
“So we know how hard it is to find a proper No. 9. It will not be easy to find one.
“Indeed, Celtic might be looking for two strikers in the summer window if Leigh Griffiths and Odsonne Edouard follow Patryk Klimala, another disappointment this season, out the door. It makes it all the harder.
“Leigh scored a good goal against Aberdeen in midweek, and that will have done his case no harm.
“But he has just eight goals in 26 appearances this season, and Celtic must find someone who will get them at least 20 goals a season.
“A Celtic striker is judged on numbers, the amount of times he puts the ball in the net. He’s not judged on performances.”
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