Patryk Klimala reckons any striker Celtic bring in will have their work cut out to get into the side.
The Polish Under-21 international received a quick promotion this season when taken to France for the pre-season games against Nice, Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain.
He scored in the first of those games, and underlined his desire to make an impact when coming off the bench to score in the opening-day win over Hamilton Accies.
The Hoops are well-accustomed to playing on any given Sunday, and this afternoon sees them in action again, this time away to Kilmarnock.
It is fixture that comes at the end of a week that has again brought renewed activity around the striker role.
Failed attempts to land Peterborough United’s Ivan Toney and free agent Steven Fletcher were followed by links with Lyle Taylor, the one-time Rangers target.
Klimala, though, is bullish: “I don’t see any problems with that,” said the Pole.
“Celtic can take another striker. But I am calm. I know I am in good shape, with no problems,
“Odsonne Edouard is in good shape, so it is difficult for others.”
The 22-year-old knows what he is speaking about when it comes to Edouard being tough to shift. His scoring cameo against Accies last Sunday lasted less than 10 minutes.
“Edouard is a good player. That’s why I didn’t play for longer,” Klimala continued.
“He scored three goals and if I had scored three goals, I would want to stay out on the pitch.
“I totally understand why I only played for a few minutes.
“Odsonne is a good guy and he has scored a lot of goals.
“So I waited for my chance. I thought I would play longer, but I played for eight minutes, I scored a goal and I am happy.”
Klimala also insists his wait was well spent.
“I watch Odsonne and I like to see how he plays,” the Pole continued.
“I learn a lot from him, and I think if we play with two strikers, we can score a lot of goals.
“I think Odsonne plays more with his back to goal. I can do that, too. But if there are two strikers, we can’t both play with our backs to goal.
“One will have to go in behind, and if we play with two, I will be the one to go behind.
“We need to be able to change it.”
Celtic switched to a 3-5-2 formation with great success on their return from the January break. Might a similar move be a plan now?
“Yes, I would be happy but for now it is difficult,” said Klimala, who reported himself to be fitter than ever on his return after the long lockdown.
“Leigh Griffiths is injured, the same with Bayo, so for now it is impossible.
“But I think in the future it’s possible, and I would be happy.”
The £3.5-million winter buy from Jagiellonia Bialystok is also happy to play a waiting game when it comes to his country, as well as his club.
“You know who plays in the Polish national team,” he said with a laugh when asked about his international ambitions.
“It’s difficult because we have Robert Lewandowski and Arkadiusz Milik, of Bayern Munich and Napoli.
“I have a chance to play there, but only as the fourth striker.
“So, for now, I am focused on the Under-21s .”
In the meantime, the young striker reports himself well down the road to settling in and – quite literally – enjoying the high life.
“At the beginning with Celtic, before quarantine, I didn’t have time to make good relationships with my team-mates,” he said.
“I couldn’t speak English so well. Now I speak the language not bad, and I think I have good relationships.
“I like Glasgow. You have really nice views.
“I like life here. The weather for me doesn’t matter. Sometimes you have sun, sometimes you have rain.
“Me and my fiancée often walk on the hills with our dog. We don’t have these sorts of hills in Poland.
“I don’t know the names of the hills. But I like to go there and just chill.”
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