Back in August, a report from Turkish outlet Fanatik (h/t The Scottish Sun) had mentioned Celtic among the potential suitors for Trabzonspor striker Caleb Ekuban during the summer window. The Hoops, though, weren’t ready to match the Super Lig club’s £7million valuation of the versatile forward, who eventually ended up staying put in Turkey.
A youth exponent of Chievo Verona, Caleb Ekuban never made a competitive appearance for his boyhood club and spent on loan at Sudtirol, Lumezzane and Renate in the Italian third tier. A productive loan spell at Albanian club Partizani Tirana, where he scored 18 goals in 42 appearances during the 2016-17 season, paved the way for a permanent move to Leeds United.
However, Ekuban had little joy during his brief stint in West Yorkshire, finding the net only once in 20 league appearances for the Whites. The 26-year-old was transferred to Trabzonspor in the summer of 2018. He has since bagged 19 goals and 14 assists in 75 appearances for the Turkish giants in all competitions.
A full international for Ghana since 2019, Ekuban has scored thrice in 10 appearances for his nation, representing the Black Stars at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Celtic roped in Albian Ajeti from West Ham to bolster their attack in the summer and the Swiss international has proved to be a smart addition. The 23-year-old has bagged 5 goals in 10 league appearances for Neil Lennon’s side so far, with his goalscoring exploits somewhat reducing the workload on Odsonne Edouard.
Edouard himself has struggled to emulate the lofty standards set by himself in the previous campaigns at Celtic. The Frenchman has scored 8 times in 16 appearances across all competitions so far this term but has often lacked consistency in big games. Injuries have also restricted his game time to a large extent.
With Leigh Griffiths and Patryk Klimala not really living up to the expectations, Celtic shouldn’t hesitate to bring in another striker to ensure healthy competition for places up top. And reigniting interest in Caleb Ekuban would be sensible.
The departures of Jonny Hayes, Scott Sinclair and Lewis Morgan in recent windows have depleted Celtic’s depth on the flanks and suitable replacements haven’t been brought in to plug the gaps. With Mo Elyounoussi also set to return to Southampton next summer, the Hoops can certainly do with a player of Ekuban’s experience and calibre in that department.
Neil Lennon has found it difficult to rotate his squad in recent weeks amidst a string of poor results. Lack of quality alternatives has forced the manager to field the same set of players on all fronts week in, week out, and that has further taken a toll on the team’s performances.
Suffice to say, Celtic need more depth and quality in their attack to continue their dominance in Scottish football. Caleb Ekuban ticks the box as a versatile forward capable of scoring as well as creating goals for his teammates, making his more than worth a punt for the Hoops.