Celtic are heading into what will likely be the biggest squad rebuild the club has seen in quite some time. With Champions League Qualifiers likely beginning around the 20th of July, it is imperative that the team is settled and ready to compete by that point.
With the squad likely to be filled with new faces, it might be worth looking to our loan stars who have had time at the club and are more settled to life in Scotland to help us qualify. The main three loan stars being Vakoun Bayo, Maryan Shved and Jack Hendry.
All three would fill positions where Celtic are likely to lose players and have been performing well in their time away. And after their impressive displays this season away from Parkhead, one can only hope that they can repeat their heroics for the Hoops.
Here’s a look at the loan trio, with statistical data to back our claims (source: Wyscout) –
Vakoun Issouf Bayo
Bayo had a great start in France for Toulouse scoring twice on his debut before injuries put him out of the team. He would have to wait until the second half of the season to begin to make a larger impact.
This speaks to the difficulties players can have when moving countries to play, something Celtic have struggled with this season with Barkas for example. Bayo since the turn of the year has started producing output that would be expected of him, scoring 4 goals.
Across the season he has produced 0.46xG P90 and is looking fitter than he ever did with the Hoops. His main attribute which perhaps Celtic have missed this season is his aerial threat at crosses and set pieces.
Out of his 7 goals, 4 have been headers (0.38 headed goals P90), this is stark contrast to Edouard’s 0 headed goals this season. And with Turnbull showing signs that he is an elite set piece taker, Celtic might be able to use Bayo to his full potential next season.
Shved much like Bayo struggled to settle in the first half of the season but come the new year he started firing on all cylinders. This could be attributed to the stern and public outburst about Shved from the KV Mechelen manager.
Shved can play out wide, which is an area where Celtic lack any real depth in, so his involvement come July would be welcomed. This season he is producing 0.33xG & 0.22xA P90 which is impressive data, especially when playing for a mid-table team.
He is an aggressive inverted winger that looks to drive into the box and get shots away, this can be seen in some of his P90 data shown below:
Touches in the box – 5.66
Shots – 3.55
Progressive Runs – 3.82
With Shved back, Celtic would be adding an attacking threat to the squad that is in form and already had some time to adjust to life in Scotland already.
Hendry is attempting to help Oostende make a rare charge for Europe this season. He leads from the centre of a very young back 3 where he is the oldest at 25. Although as a young player Hendry struggled with the pressure at Celtic, he is now showing he is ready for the step up. His performances in a difficult league should give Celtic fans confidence that he could become an important player next season. His defensive data P90 is extremely impressive:
Defensive Duel Success % – 76.4
Aerial Duel Success % – 68.9
This data, perhaps surprisingly, is stronger overall than what Ajer is showing in the Premiership. So Hendry is clearly ready for a second chance at Parkhead and maybe even replace Ajer if he leaves this summer.