Ex-Celtic goalkeeper Pat Bonner appeared on a recent edition of the BBC’s Sportsound Scottish Football podcast to discuss Celtic’s win over Hamilton Academical in their first game of the 2020/21 Scottish Premiership season, sharing his thoughts on Patryk Klimala following his goalscoring cameo at the weekend.
The Hoops earned a 5-1 victory over Hamilton on Sunday thanks to an Odsonne Edouard hat-trick as well as goals from Jeremie Frimpong and late sub Klimala.
Klimala didn’t enjoy much time on the pitch in Sunday’s fixture. He was introduced into the game in the 86th minute, replacing Edouard when the Hoops were leading Hamilton by four goals to one, however, despite only making a brief appearance in the Hoops’ opening game of the 2020/21 league season, the Polish forward did manage to get himself on the scoresheet to extend Celtic’s lead to four goals.
There has been some speculation around Edouard’s future in recent weeks, with Arsenal, Leicester City, Everton and Leeds United all being linked with the 22-year-old Celtic attacker.
Bonner discussed the possibility of Klimala, who joined the Hoops for £3.6m back in January, replacing Edouard if he leaves Parkhead during this recent edition of the BBC’s Sportsound Scottish Football podcast.
He said: “What I’ve seen there in that little four/five-minute cameo that he [made], he had two chances and he tucked that one away. Now, he has to show it week in, week out – [whether he gets] a chance to show it is the question.
“Could he step in there? He looks as if he’s the second in the pecking order now. It doesn’t look as if [Leigh] Griffiths is going to be ready if [Lennon] has left him out of the squad today. [Vakoun Issouf] Bayo looks as if he’s injured but he could move on and they’re looking for another one.
“At the moment he’s second choice, and he could come on and make an impact, but he has to show it every single time he comes on now, because he’s not going to replace Edouard but he could be the man if Edouard moves on.”
Do you think that Klimala could replace Edouard at Parkhead?
Edouard has scored 63 goals and provided 31 assists in 127 appearances for the Hoops thus far. He was Celtic’s top goalscorer in all competitions in both the 2018/19 season and the 2019/20 season.
With that in mind, it may be fair to say that the Frenchman has played a significant role in the Hoops’ attack in recent seasons and Celtic may find it difficult to replace his goals contribution if he does leave.
The fact that the £3.24m-rated Klimala managed to score on Sunday despite not getting many minutes on the pitch may be an encouraging sign for him and his future at Parkhead, however, considering that the Poland U21 international has made just five appearances in all competitions since joining the club in January, it may be too early to tell if he could replace Edouard if the Frenchman does leave the club.