By Daniel Hayes
Not for the first time this week, Celtic find themselves linked with an old flame. After TEAMtalk reported Celtic’s interest in bringing Patrick Roberts home to Paradise, it is now being reported by popular Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter that John Guidetti could be set for a return to the club. John seems to be linked with the club every so often, a Turkish publication Webasian back in 2018 claiming he was keen on a return.
The report suggests that Guidetti will return in a £2 million deal from Alaves FC in La Liga – it seems far fetched but let’s examine it.
Guidetti has resided in Spain since 2015 since signing for Celta Vigo. The Swede made a blistering start to life in Galicia scoring in a 4-1 win against Barcelona. From there, things went downhill for Super John and he was eventually loaned out to Alaves before signing on a permanent deal. Things never quite happened for Guidetti from there, however, and he was loaned out to Hannover in Germany for the remainder of the current season where of course, like most footballers, global circumstances have curtailed his plans.
Guidetti was a real fans favourite in the first few months of his loan spell at Celtic in Ronny Deila’s first season in 2014/15. The hitman adjusted to life in Glasgow quickly, scoring 11goals in just 10 games for the Hoops. The mix of Swedish Striker and on-loan Manchester City number 9 suggested a glorious potential fusion of Henrik Larsson and the recently departed Georgios Samaras. Guidetti famously scored a dramatic injury-time equaliser in an enthralling 3-3 draw in the last 32 of the Europa League against Inter Milan.
All 15 goals John Guidetti scored for Celtic. pic.twitter.com/CGnmqgOvBp
— Celtic Soccer Show (@CelticSoccrShow) May 21, 2019
Somewhere along the way, however, Guidetti and Celtic’s relationship seemed to break down. The striker claims Celtic tried to force him into signing a permanent deal around Christmas time, which led to a loss of form. Leigh Griffiths hit the ground running in the second half of the season and Guidetti turned very few heads by the time he was heading back down to empty his locker at Manchester City.
Having said that, once he was gone, a number of the Celtic faithful still wanted Guidetti signed up on a permanent deal. However, the Swede decided to take his next chapter in Spain, where he remained until recently.
Over the years, Guidetti has blown hot and cold on Celtic. He has regularly spoken of how “nasty” the club were in trying to force him to sign, and also how he found the quality of league to be below him. On the other hand, he has often spoke of how he would love the chance to return to Celtic.
All things being equal, the transfer would seem a bizarre one. Celtic currently have four recognised strikers in Odsonne Edouard, Leigh Griffiths, Vakoun Bayo and the recently signed Patryk Klimala. The former two have been firing in all cylinders, while we still have not seen much of Klimala. The deal would only make sense if Celtic expect that Edouard will want to leave in the summer, which is possible. It could also mean the club plan to cut their losses on Bayo.
However, if the club are to invest in a new striker, it would seem strange to go for a player who technically already flopped at the club. Despite his early promise, there is no denying that Guidetti’s loan spell at the club was an overall failure. A mix of poor attitude and lack of confidence seemed to turn his season upside down and his record since suggests that he has never truly recovered.
While the source of this rumour appears reliable, we have heard so many times that Guidetti may be coming back to Glasgow. It seems highly unlikely that Neil Lennon would be interested in having the Swede as part of his squad given how the majority of his career has panned out.
However, if Guidetti was to come back in, he would of course be supported as an important member of the squad as the Celts push towards 10-in-a-row.
What do you think? Would Guidetti be a worthwhile signing?