Toure’s Ivorian connection with Bayo


And then there were four.  Ivory Coast’s Vakoun Issouf Bayo (22 tomorrow) arrived yesterday on a four year contract from  Slovak club Dunajska Streda, bolstering Celtic’s striker count to four, after the arrival earlier this week of Timothy Weah.  With the continued absence of Leigh Griffiths and injury to Odsonne Edouard, the club were forced to play teenage winger Mikey Johnston as striker last month.

I normally avoid YouTube videos of a prospect as they are notoriously edited, but we are able to view all of Vakoun’s goals online.  What’s clear is that a higher percentage of his goals are headed than any player I’ve known.   He made his Ivory Coast debut as a late substitute in a African Cup of Nations qualifier in October.

Celtic’s policy here was to be fleet of foot.  They spent a reported £2m on a player who left African football 10 months ago and has played only 32 games in Europe.  Had they continued to scout the player – and his form continued on its current trajectory, competition for his signature would have grown exponentially.

What has been more important on this occasion was the player’s African connections.  Ivorian superstar Kolo Toure continued his stay in Glasgow as a Celtic coach after his playing career ended.  He also coaches the Ivory Coast national and under-23 teams, so has witnessed Bayo’s progress through the ranks.

Every deal is a risk, but with Kolo’s assistance Vakoun has an excellent chance to settle into life in Glasgow.

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  1. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    “What’s clear is that a higher percentage of his goals are headed than any player I’ve known”




    Let’s hope we can start getting some crosses in then!


    Probably one for the future, but if he can chip in with four or five goals between now and the end of the season it could be the difference between winning the league or not (like Fletcher could have been).


    Gives us a different option anyway and could even go with two up front at times. If nothing else it takes some of the pressure off Odsonne.

  2. Pog@ 12:52 strangely enough going there tomorrow, huge changes since I was here 36 years ago but can still get Anchor beer!! H H Hebcelt

  3. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on






    So that’s where it came from, and I didn’t profess to “know that”; I simply passed the report on.






    Hi GREENINBINGLEYINOSLO – no offence was intended.



    You have me wrong – I was just meaning that, as SoT mentioned, there are so many quotations abou fees that Atalanta may be looking for, that no-one could know what that fee was – I was directing my comment at whoever it was that said in the press that the fee was X millions (i.e., his agent) – not the person who was kind enough to post the info on here (your good self).



    Again – no dig intended in your direction whatsoever – apologies if my wording gave that impression.






  4. What is the Stars on




    Dont mind that BGFC fella,he is a bully,always causing fights on here.



    Watch yourself though or he will get the young fella after you.



    Cmon the 49ers

  5. Who would win in a fight between the sfa masons and the referee masons and would we ever find out the result



    We should be going with two up front.


    Most goals we have scored in a competitive game this season was 6 v St Johnstone.


    Griff played in centre and Ed on left.


    Interchanging and flexibility is key.


    Our one up front is to often outmanned and isolated.



    They would be to busy marching in circles, banging drums and playing flutes to fight.


    More likely just to bang in to each other.

  8. South Of Tunis on

    Castagne .



    Manager of Atalanta -Gian Piero Gasperini .



    ” It’s not my job to assess the financial value of a player but as a defender he is at least as good as Piccini – how much did Valencia pay for him ? “

  9. GreeninbingleyinOslo on




    Apols back at you BGFC – just reread my post – written in a rush at work – and didn’t mean at all for it to come across as curtly as it did.



    I just wanted to attribute it to the agent geezer – I passed it on because all the reports up till then had been in region of 9 million Euro, so it surprised me no end that the agent was saying the club would accept 6.



    However, as SoT said up there, the amount of smoke and mirrors surrounding this is mental so its prob a load of bollix anyway!




  10. South Of Tunis on

    Punters on Atalanta Quick News would like to keep Castagne . Lightning quick , good technique and a lot of dig . Some think he is more of a wing back than a full back.

  11. Hi guys,



    Just popped in to warn everyone of a scam re. BT. We had a call about an hour ago warning our land line a b/b would be calcelled today unless we took immediate action. We are not with BT. If you call them back they will ask for you bank details. The mrs put it on twitter and BT replied thanking her and it was a scam. HH.

  12. South Of Tunis on




    If their website is to be believed – Atalanta signed Castagne from Genk for 6million euros ( summer 2017). Since then he’s made 40 appearances for Atalanta and played for Belgium twice , ( Scotland / Holland ) .


    I’d speculate that if it’s true that Napoli want him , it’s highly likely he’ll go to Napoli . ( assuming the 2 Clubs come to an agreement )

  13. Mahe the Madman on



    Happy birthday my old sparring partner,,,may there be many more. Hope you’re well Sir!


    Take care and Hail Hail

  14. Weefratim


    Virgin media customers also get the same junk, I let them know , they said it was as scam and the security people knew about it, nothing else.


    I have also had a voicecall from HMRC saying I was to be arrested and to contact them, funny that when what has gone on at the club in liquidation by many people, again a scam, also a call from a company offering me an investment opportunity which supposedly pays a much higher return, all scams, be aware folks

  15. Hebcelt,



    I always preferred Tiger to Anchor.



    You’re right about the huge changes in Miri. Never been in Ming’s Cafe, right enough. THE place when I first arrived was Max’s, which was one of the few air-conditioned places.

  16. If your contacted by phone from the likes of BT or HMRC , with dire warnings etc hang up -its a scam.

  17. BAMBOO on 9TH JANUARY 2019 2:41 PM


    If your contacted by phone from the likes of BT or HMRC , with dire warnings etc hang up -its a scam.






    That’s exactly the advice Graig White was given, that didn’t end too well for them if I remember!

  18. traditionalist88 on

    !!BADA BING!! on 9TH JANUARY 2019 3:22 PM



    There was an article on talkSPORT yesterday linking him with us, dismissed it because of the source tbh. Maybe theres something to it?




  19. Southside



    As a weekly visitor to Pollok Park, There are very few squirrels as I think most are in hibernation.




    Beatons camp easily certainly has sent out more squirrels, but is it Beatons camp, it shows all the trademarks of a Level 5 Campaign with all the “death Threats” referee strike” markers.




    Will there be a meeting between Celtic and SFA as we requested?

  20. Open genuine questions – to our ireland based supporters with knowlege of your local clubs.



    After the mad-itch rantings about our youth academy lately, and the appointment of Damien Duff to the Celtic 19s team , noting only as the successor to Maloney. I decided to look around at the youth successes in the 2010’s coming out of Irelands teams, . its a hard search. I dont mean youths allready in England and Scotland at the UNDERS levels. Which there are many.



    Can anyone give me some insight. Has there been any direct transfer from an Irish league club of a player who then goes and plays at Champions League level.



    Onto those who came out of one youth set up to come to UK to join another. who are the successes in the last say 5 years, who has been the breakthroughts.



    When reading on Duff, and the rovers youth set up,. he introduced double training sessions, early starts, more days of training, extended months of training, as in he said they only worrked 6 months a year due to lack of games. Is his methods really revolutionary. Its all very similar to the fella McGuiness is it not ?


    Are the coaches full time employees, Duff worked a lot of hours, and there is a lot of praise from staff but was it really part time before and yir man brought a full time approach ?


    I want to understand the real context of the environment he worked in before.



    Onto a potential tie in with the Rovers, and leaving partisanship aside, is this the best Irish set up that Celtic coould partner with ? I looked at the academy set up , as dedicated and determined as the set up seems to be, its to the size and scale of saint mirren or motherwell, is it really any different ?



    Why not Cork or Sligo, or Dundalk or Derry ? Is it the attraction of Dublin population more than the academy set up ?



    On coaches, other than our sparkling successes Martin, Neil and Brendan, Maybe argue Michael O Neill also. But the Kennys and Fenlons and others at that level, when they come to Scotland they dont really stand out. Including Sheils and Wright from the North.



    Next up, is there current set ups in Ireland with local clubs and any english or scottish clubs ? are there affiliations allready ? I remember Cherry Orchard and celtic getting players from there, but it there others ? Do City and United and Licerpool have tie in with other academy or youth set ups ?


    Are there any lower league english clubs that are seen as a preference ?



    The Celtic Soccer Academy lists these affiliations in Ireland allready. Which seems to me a fair coverage, and surely would highlight early talent, early in the cycle or are these clubs your average local boys clubs , as in, league members not recognised as the best of the rest.



    Arklow United(Arklow), Blessington FC (Wicklow) Don Boscos FC (Derry) Glenmuir United (Dundalk)


    Lusk United (Dublin) Lurgan Celtic (Lurgan) Newbridge Town FC, Parkville United (Carlow), Real FA (Westmeath) St Mary’s (Belfast), Swords Celtic (Dublin) Verona FC (Dublin).



    Genuinely interested in some real chat on this. I dont want the “boot the arse” shite observations, The spread of the scouting net, the analysis of targets, the academy set up, the quality of coaches we have, the education levels, the high regard of celtics set up from other high level clubs, the partnerships. I dont think certain people realise the size/scale of this, in fact the professionalism of it.



    Lastly, has Brendan identified Damien as like himself, and a future leader, or is it just I need an under 19s coach, Duff can do the job. Is he better than who allready operates at Celtic park ?




    Whats the thoughts.

  21. https://shamrockrovers.ie/2019/01/07/thanks-to-damien-duff/



    As part of an illustrious and celebrated playing career at both club and International level, Damien Duff played with Shamrock Rovers in 2015. This was Damien’s first time to experience League of Ireland football. On retirement from playing Damien retained his connection with the Hoops and began his coaching career with our first ever Under 15 National League side in 2017.



    Damien made an immediate impact at the Academy and has affected so many of our young players and coaches during his work within our Academy in his two seasons at SRFC Academy. Many of the boys within the U15 group will progress through our player pathway and got their start under Damien and Academy Director Shane Robinson.



    Damien’s daily presence at our Roadstone training base has helped us achieve our aim to raise standards right across the board. His selflessness, commitment, professionalism and unwavering desire to help improve the young players that he has worked with during his time coaching here at Shamrock Rovers has been incredible.



    We would like to take this opportunity to thank Damien for all he has given us in his time at the club. Celtic are not just getting an Irish legend, they are getting a young coach of exceptional potential with an unbelievable work ethic and brilliant football mind. But most of all, they are getting a guy of great integrity.



    Damien, thank you, everyone involved at Shamrock Rovers F.C. wishes you well.

  22. Mahe the Madman on

    St Stivs, my next article is on that topic. Might interest you. I assume you know where it will be published.


    When the wee one goes asleep I will try to answer some of your questions.


    Hope you’re good pal


    Hail Hail

  23. Mahe the Madman on

    Big bhoy, as far as I know squirrels don’t hiberate hence stashing acorns everywhere for winter snacks.


    They r wee bassas actually who can be very annoying to share land with. I’ve got a problem one that might need taken out ! Or clear the trees.


    Hail Hail

  24. ….any transfer windows where we are “linked” with a fiba’ name alongside the huns, I’m always sceptical.



    The hun facilitator likes a reason to ultimately “report” we’ve failed, lost out, been snubbed etc ete – usual guff and the huns like seeing themselves as rivals to our great club.

  25. What is the Stars on

    St Stivs



    I am a Shamrock Rovers supporter so will probably be a bit biased.


    However over the last few years Rovers have tried to get their youth/schoolboy academy system right and have put a lot of time and effort into same.Duff has been a recent addition to this and he by all accounts had a lot of positive input ( getting the kids into train at 7 am before they go to school etc)


    The League of Ireland operates a system of boom and bust.Over the years various clubs have managed to attract “wealthy” backers ,They then proceed to enlist all the best players in the league and some good young players returning from Britain,they dominate,win trophies,qualify for Europe and eventually the bubble bursts and they are left with debts.


    Dundalk currently dominate and good luck to them.However their ground Oriel Park is not deemed fit for European Matches and they have to borrow Shamrock Rovers ground.


    All money goes towards paying players,grounds dont get a lick of paint,toilet facilities are abysmal and even a pie and bovril is regarded as an extravagant luxury.As for putting money in to any long term project like youth development…..forget it.


    Rovers have bucked the trend in recent years and despite being a “wealthy” club by Irish standards they have finished 3rd ( behind Dundalk and Cork) for the last five years.However most Rovers fans are very happy with whats happening because they can see whats going on behind the scenes,community links and schoolboy development.


    I think it will come good very soon.

  26. MAHE THE MADMAN on 9TH JANUARY 2019 4:21 PM


    St Stivs, my next article is on that topic. Might interest you. I assume you know where it will be published.


    When the wee one goes asleep I will try to answer some of your questions.



    Hope you’re good pal



    Hail Hail






    aye, i have been reading all your stuff, its been very very good, even saltires contributions have been interesting. Just teasing I did like the name check for the Port Glasgow Athletic goal, that gave a wee chuckle one of my poorer health days.


    I seen the big fella in Joanstoan Morrisons on NYE, but i was bearded up, hat on, look kind of like a mad jakey, so i didnt suprise him with a hello.



    I am on the mend, good week this week, canny count my chickens, but each day of not feeling unwell unwell is progress.



    look forward to the article.

  27. WITS


    ta that was interesting input, I did think you would have some quick comments.



    Any names to watch out for ? anyone attracting attention ?



    on another subject. The 67 team photie. When I first saw it I thought it was a celtic reserve line up, and i tried to name the team, took me a few moments to realise the ginger goa;ie was not jinky. ha, eejit i am.

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