Why Celtic should go back in the market for Florin Andone
Back in May, reports in Turkey (h/t Eastbourne Herald) had mentioned out-of-favour Brighton & Hove Albion striker Florin Andone as a potential target for both Celtic and Rangers. However, a move to Scottish football failed to materialise for the 27-year-old, who ended up staying with the Seagulls after returning from his loan spell at Galatasaray in the summer.
Florin Andone featured for Castellon, Villarreal C and Cordoba B in the Spanish third-tier before making his mark with Cordoba’s first-team in the La Liga. He scored 5 goals in 20 appearances in his debut season in the top-flight as Cordoba suffered relegation.
The Romanian bagged a career-best tally of 21 goals in 36 appearances for Cordoba in the second-tier during the 2015-16 campaign before earning a move back to the La Liga with Deportivo La Coruna.
Andone managed an impressive tally of 18 goals and 5 assists in 66 top-flight appearances over the course of two seasons before completing a move to the Premier League with Brighton in 2018 following Deportivo’s relegation.
Andone struggled to establish himself as a regular starter at the Amex Stadium under former manager Chris Hughton but still managed a decent tally of 5 goals in 27 appearances in his debut season for the Seagulls.
However, he was deemed surplus to requirements by Graham Potter in the following summer. He spent the 2019-20 campaign on loan at Galatasaray in Turkey, scoring twice in 12 appearances.
Andone would add more quality to Celtic’s forward line
Celtic signed Polish hitman Patryk Klimala earlier this year in January. They followed it up with a deal to bring in Swiss international striker Albian Ajeti from West Ham in the summer. With star man Odsonne Edouard and veteran Leigh Griffiths already in the ranks, the Hoops aren’t really short of cover in front of goal.
Edouard has continued to be the main man up top for Neil Lennon’s side, scoring 6 goals in 10 appearances across all competitions so far this season. Ajeti has also hit the ground running with 5 goals in 7 league games for the Hoops, much to the relief of the club faithful.
However, Celtic have struggled to get the best out of the likes of Klimala and Griffiths. Klimala has netted thrice in the Scottish Premiership so far this season but has often lacked enough quality in front of goal.
The Pole had a big opportunity to impress in the most-recent Old Firm derby after being drafted into the starting XI but failed to make much of an impression in a 2-0 defeat for the Hoops.
Griffiths, meanwhile, has struggled with his fitness in recent years, having only played a bit-part role over the past couple of seasons. The 30-year-old seems to be past his prime and his questionable fitness record means that Lennon can no longer afford to throw him into the mix for the big games.
To that end, Celtic can certainly do with another reliable out-and-out centre-forward in their ranks. Reigniting interest in Florin Andone could well be a smart option when the transfer window reopens in January.
The Romanian was ridiculously underused during his loan spell at Galatasaray and has struggled for regular minutes at Brighton but remains a striker with the pedigree to deliver the goods at the highest level, as evident from his past track record in the Spanish top-flight.
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Celtic need more depth and quality in their striking options if they are to continue their monopoly in the Scottish Premiership. Florin Andone still has several years remaining in his prime at 27 while his past exploits in Spain suggest that he has the quality to score goals for fun in Scotland.