Despite "struggles", Odsonne Edouard could still top his 18-19 tally for Celtic

By Euan Davidson

May 8, 2021

Odsonne Edouard has flattered to deceive for Celtic.

He’s too lazy, or arrogant, or he just doesn’t care. We should play Leigh Griffiths instead. He’s a sulker. These are all criticisms lobbed at the Frenchman, yet he could still top his 18-19 goal total in all competitions.

Edouard, who let’s not forget has missed several matches with injuries and Covid-19, definitely hasn’t reached his heights. Last season in particular, the former PSG man set lofty expectations of his abilities. His overall haul of 28 goals and a staggering 19 assists was spectacular. It was arguably the best form we’d seen from a striker in years. Perhaps, even Henrik Larsson.

However, just like everyone else at Celtic, some confidence has been missing from his game. He’s suffered setbacks at crucial junctures. After a promising early run of form, he was ruled out of the meeting with Ferencvaros and the first Glasgow Derby of the season. Despite that all, he’s scored 21 this season, and could top his 18-19 total by scoring two more [Transfermarkt]. Against St Johnstone or Hibs, that’s not inconceivable.

That and the constant speculation about his future have made things difficult for the Frenchman. Yet, criticism has been plentiful. It’s odd that we’ve gone from defending Edouard against Charlie Nicholas’ bizarre goal celebration comments [Daily Record] to questioning the same cool demeanour in other scenarios. He’s not the most outwardly emotive player, but that’s true whether he’s doing well or on a goal drought. That’s just how he is.

Edouard has still performed impressively, despite it all / (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

Criticism of Odsonne Edouard seems over the top

French Eddy will have been just as frustrated as anyone else this season. He gets what titles mean to the supporters, having won 3 of them. Equally, Edouard will understand the importance of big European displays. There’s nothing to suggest he suddenly doesn’t get it.

Don’t get me wrong; I also expected more from French Eddy this season. He has gone missing in a few games, and snatched at big chances a more confident player would’ve easily converted. We saw that in the second-to-last Glasgow Derby, when he was presented with a practically open goal.

However, we need to keep things in perspective. He’s still a 20+ goal a season striker. Considering how badly everything has gone, the shifting formations, the change of manager and all the aforementioned personal struggles he’s faced, that’s pretty good going.

We’re at risk of hounding away a player who has served us with distinction. That isn’t the finale Edouard deserves, considering the utter joy he’s given us since arriving at the club under Brendan Rodgers.

READ MORE: “I had a point to prove”