Goal-Den Bhoy! Is Celtic Hero And Scotland’s Best Striker The Finest Since Larsson?

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It seems fitting to be writing this piece on the day that big Bayo breaks into the team at last and scores a double.

But for the inside of the post it would have been a hat-trick.

We, as a club, are blessed by the excellent finishers we’ve had down through the years.

Do we have another on our hands? It’s way, way too early to tell that but we signed Bayo what was, frankly, a low point for the club and his time here has involved some settling in and getting up to speed. It was always ridiculous to write him off, and I am delighted for him that he’s made his first start and scored his first goals.

Even Craig Levein’s pitiful attempt to “claim” them for his defenders won’t change that.

Time is going to tell how good Bayo might be.

But he has a hell of a job trying to get in front of the players already here.

To me there’s no debate over who the best striker, and the best footballer, in Scotland is.

To me, there hasn’t been a debate on this since way at the start of last season. The only question that remains, as far as I’m concerned, is where our French forward and big-game player extraordinaire Odsonne Edouard fits into the pantheon of great Celtic strikers.

The first, and automatic, comparisons are with the two Celtic strikers who have played alongside him; Leigh Griffiths and Moussa Dembele. I think he’s unquestionably a better footballer than Leigh, and that’s reflected by his keeping the Scot out of the team right now.

Leigh Griffiths will probably score more goals, but I’ve never seen him run at a defence and terrorise it the way Edouard does.

Leigh is a predator. He is a defensive player’s nightmare because he can pop up anywhere and do you damage. But Odsonne is a defensive player’s worst nightmare, because he has those dancing feet and will actually come at you.

The bigger question, of course, revolves around Moussa Dembele, and which of the two is better.

Allow me to offer an observation; Edouard is a better all-round footballer.

Dembele is a lethal finisher, capable with the head, the left and the right. He, like Edouard, scores in big games. But when Eddie scored the winner at Ibrox two years back his quality was immediately obvious; Dembele does not have the magic in his feet to do what his countryman did that did.

Edouard has more tricks than Dembele. He has more potential as a player.

I think around the box he’s got more than any Celtic forward since the Super Swede himself. You can look at guys like Hooper and McDonald, and they were good in front of goal and knew how to find the net, but I don’t think any of them had the full box of tricks, and Eddie does.

I am gutted that he will not take his place in the biggest competition of them all, because he fully deserves to strut his stuff on that stage against the very best. I am also relieved, because it was the night at Celtic Park against City that convinced me that Dembele was an exceptional talent and also that we’d never hang onto him.

As much as I want to see Eddie play at that level, I don’t want to lose him to some super-rich behemoth in a different league. But we will anyway, because this board doesn’t have the ambition to even try and keep a player this good.

So I, all of us, have to enjoy him whilst he’s here. Ten in a row, I think he’ll stay for. After that we’re going to get the kind of interest we can’t ignore.

Thankfully it will come with a mammoth fee, and probably one that will make even the Tierney money look small time.

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