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Carlton Cole: Celtic’s striking saviour or another veteran flop?

| 22.10.2015

It has taken almost three weeks for Carlton Cole to convince Celtic to sign him up on a free transfer, but the transition from trialist to fully-fledged Bhoy has finally been confirmed by the Scottish giants.

Although some Bhoys fans would have preferred Ronny Deila to wait until January to boost his striking stocks, having gone all this time with only Leigh Griffiths as the regular frontman, Cole arrives to bolster the Ladbrokes Premiership’s highest-scoring outfit.

Nadir Cifti only netted his second league goal of the campaign in the 1-0 win over Motherwell last time out, while Anthony Stokes has only made one appearance this term. Whether his signing is celebrated at Celtic Park or not, it cannot be argued that his arrival is warranted.

Ladbrokes certainly expect him to have an impact on Celtic’s season, with the league’s sponsors setting his league goal line at 10.5 and offering 5/6 that the former West Ham man either surpasses the tally or falls short.

Cole’s seasonal league haul hasn’t ascended north of 10.5 strikes since the Hammer’s 2011/12 Championship and the 32-year-old only managed double-figure hauls in the top flight twice during his career, both times hitting exactly 10.

However, the general perception that the Scottish Premiership is akin to that of the English Championship should help Cole’s quest to find the back of the net.

The supposed easier standard isn’t always a guarantee of success though. Ian Wright and Dion Dublin are both bad examples of what can happen when a Premier League veteran moves north of the border.

The pair were admittedly far older than Cole when signing on at Celtic Park, at 35 and 36 respectively, but only the former Arsenal frontman was able to ripple the onion bag in forgettable short-term stints for the duo.

Cole would certainly believe he can do far better than that, but it remains to be seen how quickly he can gain match-fitness and regular game time having reportedly worked through an injury while trialling for Deila.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.