Does Sardar Azmoun's Champions League record justify club-record Celtic bid?

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is seen during the UEFA Champions League Qualifying Play-Offs Round First Leg match between Celtic FC and FK Astana at Celtic Park on August 16, 2017 in...

Celtic want a new striker to compete with Leigh Griffiths and Moussa Dembele, with FC Rostov's Sardar Azmoun in the frame.

With Leigh Griffiths and Moussa Dembele both struggling with injuries at the beginning of the campaign, Brendan Rodgers has been forced to be creative to ensure Celtic remain as fearsome as ever going forward.

However, experiments with Tom Rogic, Scott Sinclair and James Forrest in unfamiliar false nine roles have yielded mixed results. Consequently, Rodgers appears to have realised the need for a third, out-and-out striker to step in to provide cover for both Griffiths and Dembele.

Yet, Celtic would have to pay big to land one of the forwards on Rodgers’ wish-list, FC Rostov hitman Sardar Azmoun. According to the Scottish Sun, the Scottish champions would have to pay a club-record £10 million to get the Iranian International in on a permanent deal, with the club uncertain of such an outlay.

Rostov's Iranian forward Sardar Azmoun celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the UEFA Champions League football match between FC Rostov and FC Bayern Munich at Rostov-on-...

The question, however, is whether Azmoun would be worthy of such an outlay, becoming Celtic’s most expensive player since John Hartson arrived from Coventry City in 2001.

Hartson plundered 109 goals in five seasons in green and white, lifting the Scottish Premiership title on three occasions to boot. Whether Azmoun could have the same impact in the green half of Glasgow is open for debate.

At just 22, the 6ft 1ins goalscorer has plenty of potential and that £10 million price-tag could look like peanuts in a season or two. However, a tally of 19 goals in 65 games for Russian overachievers Rostov leaves plenty to be desired.

His international record is fearsome, 19 in 26 appearances, but none have come against particularly strong opposition. Azmoun, for example, netted braces against Guam and Oman, plus a hat-trick against Macedonia.

Difference maker?

Yet, you wonder whether his record in the Champions League, arguably the competition Celtic will be judged on this season, is key to their interest. Azmoun netted against both Bayern Munich and Atletico in the group-stages, helping Rostov finish third and drop into the Europa League.

Rostov's Iranian forward Sardar Azmoun celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League Group D football match Club Atletico de Madrid vs FC Rostov at the Vicente Calderon stadium...

£10 million is a risk but do two goals against two European giants make it worth taking?

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