Forget Dembele – Celtic would be shrewd to sign former PL star who is now a free agent

Celtic must sign Bakary Sako to replace the departed Moussa Dembele

Ligue 1 giants Lyon sealed a £20m deal for Celtic star Moussa Dembele with just a couple of hours left for the transfer deadline on Aug 31, reports the Independent.

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers had refused to sanction a deal for Dembele without a sufficient replacement lined up but the Hoops performed a U-turn and sold the Frenchman.

Dembele, 22, hit a stunning 32 goals in all competitions in his first season at Parkhead before managing 16 in an injury-hit campaign as the Hoops clinched the double treble. The Frenchman was one of Celtic’s prized assets and losing him in the summer comes as a big blow, particularly with Rodgers failing to bring in a replacement.

Celtic, however, did complete two deals on deadline day as Kilmarnock midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu signed a two-year contract and Leicester City defender Filip Benkovic completed a season-long loan move. But Dembele’s departure has created a void which Celtic need to fill sooner than later. Though the transfer window is now shut, Rodgers’ Celtic can still sign free agents.

To fill the void left by Dembele, Celtic should consider a move for Bakary Sako. Over three months after leaving Crystal Palace, Bakary Sako is still without a club.

Sako, 30, struggled with injuries for the large majority of his time at Palace but he returned to full fitness and form last season as he scored six goals under manager Roy Hodgson. Despite injuries hampering his season, the Malian finished last season with three goals in four league starts.

Now that Sako is fully fit and waiting for a club to offer him the chance to play again, Celtic must provide the 30-year-old with a fresh start. Despite having the likes of Odsonne Edouard and Leigh Griffiths as options up front, Celtic need extra firepower to retain the title. So a move for Sako makes utmost sense for Celtic.

The Malian forward is capable of playing across the front line and has the required physicality to excel in the Scottish Premiership. Filled with pace and power, Sako should be able to play up front at Celtic or on either flank. His blistering pace, physicality and dribbling abilities can cause problems to any defence, while his versatility would also come handy for Rodgers.

Read more: Go for it Rodgers – Celtic must act fast and sign this talented 17-year-old prodigy

Rodgers already has Griffiths and Edouard to call upon but Sako would bring experience and enhance Celtic’s chances of maintaining their dominance in Scotland. And the Malian’s availability on a free transfer makes it a no-brainer for the Scottish champions to move for the attacker.

Written by Rohan Sengupta

Hi, I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.
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