Why Celtic star Edouard to Real Madrid link isn't as ridiculous as it appears

By Euan Davidson

January 20, 2021

According to Defensa Central, Real Madrid could make a sensational bid for Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard.

The Spanish outlet suggest that Zinedine Zidane has personally marked out Edouard. The Celtic talisman is out of contract in 2022, and has already switched agents this month.

With Luka Jovic and Mariano Diaz struggling in the Spanish capital, it’s natural that Real are linked with strikers. Equally, Karim Benzema is 33 and has already enjoyed a trophy-laden spell with La Real.

Los Blancos have also been linked to Kylian Mbappé and Erling Haåland, but Edouard represents a cheaper option. A France youth international, it shouldn’t come as much surprise that Zidane is aware of his talents.

On the surface, it feels a bit like when Kenny Miller was supposedly an AC Milan target, back in 2011 (Scotsman). Yet, in talking down Edouard’s chances of moving to an elite side, we talk our game down, too.

At just 23, Edouard has a ridiculous 76 career goals to his name already (Transfermarkt). His technical ability, propensity for dribbling past defenders, finishing and skill in holding the ball up make him a prototypical modern centre forward. That’s going to make him perhaps more valuable than we think.

Odsonne Edouard scores for Celtic at Hamilton / (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard; criticised domestically, wanted internationally

Edouard has come under a significant amount of criticism from Scottish football fans this season. That’s understandable, as he hasn’t yet hit the heights of campaigns prior.

He’s contributed to 11 goals in 15 league games, scoring 7 and assisting 4. That’s still a pretty good return for a striker who has both obviously had his head turned, and suffered from Covid-19 (BBC).

Whether you’re an elite athlete or not, Covid is no joke. It’s a fortunate situation that the striker has been able to play as normal following his spell battling the virus.

Despite his objectively good stats, there’s a prevailing feeling that he isn’t trying hard enough. I don’t necessarily know how you quantify that, as we so obviously miss him when he’s not playing.

As I pointed out after the Livi game, Rogic struggled because he doesn’t have the striker’s instincts that Eddy does. Eddy managed 37 touches in total against Dundee United (WhoScored?). Rogic only managed 7 in the first half against Livingston.

Able to hold up the ball and link play in and around the 18-yard-box, he’s excellent foil for the likes of Christie, Turnbull, Forrest and Elyounoussi. The fact is that he makes other players around him better, by providing opportunities as well as taking his own.

The likes of Eden Hazard would enjoy playing with the big Frenchman. His ability to bring others into play with his movement is an underrated quality at Celtic, and we’ll miss it when he’s gone.

You could make the case that Edouard has had a better spell at Celtic than his countryman, Moussa Dembélé. The latter has recently moved to Real’s cross-town rivals, Atlético. So is it really “sensational” to hear Eddy being linked to clubs like Real?

I don’t think it is.