Why Edouard is Dembele's natural replacement

By David Walton

August 30, 2018

With transfer speculation continuing, Odsonne Edouard is the natural replacement for Moussa Dembele.

Dembele, signed from Fulham two years ago, looks set for a move to Lyon before the transfer window closes. The Frenchman has apparently agreed terms with the Ligue 1 side, according to the Daily Record.

There is no denying that losing Dembele is a blow to the squad. Particularly considering Celtic have a massive few days ahead with games against Suduva and Rangers.

However, Celtic must look to the future and look at who is going to replace their talisman.

Odsonne replacement

That man should be someone who’s already at the club – Edouard.

Odsonne Edouard scored three times against Rangers last season (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Firstly, it’s important to stress that Celtic still need more numbers going forward. Playing with two strikers for a full season is a dangerous ask. Considering Brendan Rodgers also likes to rotate and go two up front, the Hoops could be without a striker in worst-case scenarios.

Fans are already incensed with the Dembele move as it is. Therefore, it’s imperative a replacement is found in terms of quantity. However, in terms of quality, it simply has to be Edouard.

The 20-year-old is a huge prospect and showed glimpses of Dembele-esque play last season. His Glasgow derby winner at Ibrox was the most memorable of all. Collecting the ball on the left edge of the box, Edouard cut inside and curled one into the far corner.

If that was Dembele, it would’ve been spoken about for months.

However, it would be silly to hang your hat on one goal against Rangers (or three if you’re counting the Parkhead strikes!)

Raw talent

Moussa Dembele looks set for Lyon move (David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Edouard is a raw talent with the same attributes potentially as Dembele. His hold-up play on his day is fantastic, and causes Premiership and European defenders a torrid time.

His finishing is another attribute that’s improving all the time. Before his injury, the big Frenchman had been on target in both of Celtic’s Champions League qualifiers against Alashkert and Rosenborg.

His style of play is strikingly similar to Dembele, however Edouard still lacks that consistency at times. His development cannot be stalled for another fresh face. Instead, Rodgers should see where this Edouard experiment goes.

It’s clear that Rodgers likes him over Leigh Griffiths, and certainly wouldn’t have splashed out £9m on him otherwise.

For now, Griffiths will remain a solid back-up option. However, to replace Dembele, Celtic can’t look further than Edouard.