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Celtic interested in signing 26-year-old attacking star – A wise move by the Hoops?

Saido Berahino celebrates after scoring for Zulte Waregem
Saido Berahino celebrates after scoring for Zulte Waregem

Why Celtic signing Saido Berahino would bolster their attack

According to a report from TEAMtalk (h/t The Scotsman), Scottish champions Celtic are interested in signing Zulte Waregem striker Saido Berahino this summer if they lose out on Odsonne Edouard.

A product of the West Brom youth academy, Berahino shot to fame in 2014/15 after a brilliant campaign with the Baggies, that saw him score 20 goals and assist 6 in 45 matches. A number of clubs, including Tottenham, were keen on signing him, but a move did not materialize.

After this, he downed his tools and his form dwindled. After scoring 36 goals in 121 matches for the Baggies the striker joined Stoke City in January 2017. But he wasn’t able to rediscover his touch with the Potters either, managing just 5 goals in 56 games. Last summer, the 26-year-old joined Belgian outfit Zulte Waregem, where he has found his rhythm again.

Saido Berahino celebrates after scoring for Zulte Waregem
Saido Berahino celebrates after scoring for Zulte Waregem

Do Celtic need a new striker?

Odsonne Edouard was the driving force behind Neil Lennon’s sides success once again. The Frenchman scored 27 goals and assisted 19 in 45 matches across all competitions in 2019/20. In addition, Leigh Griffiths has contributed with 11 goals in 31 games.

However, Edouard’s future at the club is far from certain, with the former PSG ace linked with a summer exit. In addition, Vakoun Issouf Bayo hasn’t been able to make the desired impact since joining the club last year. The 23-year-old has scored just two goals this season. January signing Patryk Klimala is yet to open his account for Celtic.

Hence, it is important Neil Lennon brings in another centre-forward to the squad, especially if Edouard ends up leaving the club. And to that end, Berahino might prove to be a viable option for the Scottish champions.

The 26-year-old has rediscovered his touch since joining Zulte Waregem last summer. In 22 matches for the Belgian outfit, the Burundi international has scored 8 goals and assisted 3.

While those are not prolific numbers, it is evidence enough that the former West Brom man is showing signs of getting his career back on track. And if he is able to reach anywhere close to his form from the 2014/15 campaign, he would prove to be a valuable addition for Celtic.

Zulte Waregem's Saido Berahino in action
Zulte Waregem’s Saido Berahino in action

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Verdict

Celtic have been crowned champions of Scotland once again. But leading goalscorer Odsonne Edouard faces an uncertain future. Furthermore, backup options Vakoun Issouf Bayo and Patryk Klimala haven’t been able to hit the ground running. Hence, it is important for the Hoops to bring in a new striker.

And while Berahino’s career was on a downward spiral ever since that 2014/15 campaign, he has shown signs of rediscovering his form at Zulte Waregem this term. At 26, his peak years are still in front of him. He has also gathered a lot of experience already and therefore, would add valuable depth and quality to the side.

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