Celtic have responded to Rangers’ signing of Jermain Defoe by snapping up Paris Saint-Germain’s deadliest striker on a loan deal.

Of course, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe remain out of reach for the Parkhead side, but neither the Brazilian superstar nor the French wonderkid can match the efficiency with which Timothy Weah has found the net for PSG’s first team this season.

Scoring a goal on average every 71.5 minutes he has been on the pitch in all competitions, the USA international eclipses both in that regard. The sample size for the forward is, admittedly, small. He has played only 143 minutes spread over three matches, all in August, but has left little doubt what he is capable of.

Since, he has been reduced to training with the first team, a trio of outings for PSG’s ‘B’ team, with whom he has netted twice in the regionalised French fourth tier, and five international games.

Weah’s lack of playing time at the Parc des Princes is no slight on his ability, however. As well as Neymar and Mbappe, he faces competition from Edinson Cavani for the No.9 role in what is a star-studded squad.

Celtic have already seen at close quarters what he is capable of. When the sides met in Dumbarton in a UEFA Youth League fixture last term, it was Weah who got the winner as PSG edged the match 3-2.

At 18, his lack of experience comes in stark contrast to Rangers signing Defoe, who is exactly twice his age. And while the Englishman joins the Ibrox club with little to prove as he enters the final years of his career, for New York-born Weah, the next stage of his professional life is set to be pivotal.

He is used to scrutiny, though, having seen his young career develop in something of a goldfish bowl due to his father, George, being the greatest African footballer ever and still the only player from the continent to have won the Ballon d’Or.

“I don’t see the name on my back,” he said this summer.

“It’s the fans who see it, so there’s no pressure.”

Despite his illustrious dad, it is not necessarily to the current President of Liberia he turns to for advice. Instead, it is his Jamaican mother Clar who has been the dominant influence on his football, having first taught him the basics of the game and now acts as an advisor.

“She knows a lot because she watched my dad,” Tim explained as a 15-year-old.

Indeed, it was Clar who persuaded her son to remain in Paris for the first half of the season rather than seek a more immediate loan move away.

“My mum, she thought I am still really young and tender. There’s still some stuff to work on,” he said in September. “She thought if I went to a lesser team, there would be so many expectations to carry that team or potentially fight for a league winning spot. I don’t feel that I’m ready for that.”

At Celtic, he is unlikely to have to carry such a burden alone. Odsonne Edouard, another PSG youth product, will offer competition such that Weah is not unduly relied upon, while the volume of fixtures that they face in the early months of 2019 guarantees him the game time that he and his parent club crave.

Edouard, who never managed a first-team appearance in Paris and scored only one Ligue 1 goal in nearly 10 hours of pitch time during a loan spell with Toulouse, offers a useful comparison for what manager Brendan Rodgers can expect from the teenager.

There are similarities in the style of the pair, which is perhaps inevitable given they came through the same academy.

Edouard, however, is the more natural centre forward, given that he is more physically developed and is more comfortable playing with his back to goal.

Weah, on the other hand, is quicker than the 20-year-old, has shown the technical capacity and poise of his father when it comes to drifting away from opponents, but typically moves into wider areas, creating spaces for the midfield to attack. Although wiry, he is stronger than he appears and when taking the ball into feet with his back to goal prefers to offload with one touch rather than holding it into his body.

No doubt he has the tools to establish himself at the highest level, but potential is one thing, exploiting it another entirely.

His arrival at Celtic Park therefore represents a different kind of risk than the one Rangers are taking with Defoe, a player with a history to support the expectation placed upon him south of the Clyde.

In the East End, meanwhile, Celtic are set to get their hands on a youngster largely untested in the senior game but who could have the world at his feet should everything go according to plan.

Robin Bairner is a French football expert with more than 10 years’ experience writing about European football

This article first appeared in our sister title The Herald