The perilous wait for the Premiership winners to be crowned is over and, unfortunately for Celtic, they are no longer the dominant force in Scottish football.
It’s an eventuality which could cause havoc with the club’s plans. Will the likes of Kristoffer Ajer and Odsonne Edouard stay? It feels unlikely.
Edouard has been a player who has been at the forefront of Celtic’s success in recent years. After signing during the 2017/18 season, the Frenchman has racked up an almighty tally of 81 goals in 161 outings.
The forward has been catching the eye for a while now and it was perhaps a surprise that he didn’t leave Parkhead last summer.
He has stuck around, however, and is now being linked with the Premier League once more. The likes of Leicester, Arsenal and West Ham have all been mentioned as possible destinations, so keeping hold of him won’t be easy.
Edouard has been a revelation in Glasgow but, with Celtic finally relinquishing their grasp on the title, now seems like the ideal time for him to leave in search of a new challenge.
With that in mind, the Hoops would need to sign a replacement in the summer window.
It’s easier said than done but finding someone who can score goals on a regular basis will be how they replace Edouard. After all, the likes of Albian Ajeti and Patryk Klimala have hardly proved able deputies this term. They have just nine goals between them in the league while their French star has 16 on his own.
One man with whom they could replace him should he leave is Genk striker Paul Onuachu. Speaking on A Celtic State of Mind podcast last week, Celtic pundit Colin Watt touted him as someone who the Bhoys should target, saying:
“One that I think people should go and take a look at [is] Paul Onuachu. He’s a Nigerian striker that plays for Genk; he was formerly of FC Midtjylland, and he’s scored almost 100 goals in five seasons, 6ft 7in tall. Roughly, the going price for him is about £7-10m.”
His colossal height means he’s a fearsome striker to come up against, and when you add pace and the ability to score goals into the equation, he’d make a fine Edouard successor.
Onuachu has found the net on 26 occasions this term in Belgium, using his frightening power to smash opponents to one side. He has always had a natural gift and, when considering his height, it’s no surprise to see him prove so successful in the professional game.
FC Ebedei’s talent spotter Churchill Oliseh, once said: “As soon as I saw him, I knew he was special.” Oliseh knows a talent when he sees one; he was the man to spot Obafemi Martins and bring him into the limelight for instance.
Onuachu could just be his proudest capture yet. Oliseh continued: “For a player with his height, he has good dribbling ability. People of his height only rely mostly on their aerial strength, but he can play, both in the air and on the ground. And he has speed.”
Combine dribbling with goalscoring ability and you have a defender’s nightmare. His mere presence is enough to have opponents running for the hills. In the Belgium Pro League this term, the 26-year-old has won 108 aerial duels.
That’s an obscene tally, one which should have Celtic’s recruitment team foaming at the mouth. He would seem a very capable replacement for Edouard.