There aren’t many areas of the Celtic squad that you can be critical of this season but Ange Postecoglou does have a slight concern in one area of the pitch.
The Hoops have several numbers in an offensive position with Kyogo Furuhashi, Giorgos Giakoumakis and Daizen Maeda all capable of playing in that lone central striker berth.
That said, despite their goal records, with the trio racking up 68 goals between them since arriving in Glasgow, there is a feeling that they still lack goals. That’s certainly against the best sides with Postecoglou ruing a succession of big chances going begging in the Champions League.
Indeed, the Australian seems to think his team paid the “ultimate price” for their lack of a clinical finisher in Europe’s elite competition with the aforementioned trio scoring just once in that competition this term through Giakoumakis.
Signing a new centre-forward in 2023, therefore, might be a good way of not only ensuring they retain their Premiership crown but making a better go of the Champions League next term.
One such player could be Bamba Dieng, although they may have to pay a sizeable fee to bring the 22-year-old to Scotland.
At his tender age, he has scored ten times in 48 outings for the Ligue 1 club but there is a sense that he could be about to explode in the near future.
Indeed, he scored his first international goal on the biggest stage of all on Friday, with the young attacker netting in Senegal’s 3-1 win over Qatar at the World Cup.
Such a finish was described as “clinical” by BBC pundit Stephen Warnock, who celebrated what was a tidy finish from the Senegalese sensation.
That clinical nature in a big game is what Celtic appear to be crying out for with such a signing appearing to be a must after the addition of Yuki Kobayashi and potential incoming Alistair Johnston.
Dieng doesn’t just excel when it comes to goal-scoring, with the Hoops-linked starlet capable of pressing and defending from the front; a key trait when playing under Postecoglou.
When compared to strikers across Europe’s top five leagues, he ranks in the top 9% for tackles won per 90, as well as ranking among the best 1% for tackles in the attacking third of the pitch via FB Ref.
Furthermore, the Senegal international is in the top 11% of forwards for clearances made, showing that he’s willing to get back and work hard for the team.
Not just a poacher either, he is a big threat in the air with Dieng sitting in the best 3% for aerial duels won (2.47) per 90 minutes.
Clearly an all-round package, he would offer Celtic a great deal should they bring him to Glasgow next year.
Based on the aforementioned numbers and his early form at the World Cup, signing him looks a must.