It's time for Celtic to cash in

By Euan Davidson

August 6, 2021

Writing about Celtic, specifically mercurial talents like Odsonne Edouard, can often mean putting your flag in a certain camp.

For some, Odsonne Edouard’s performances last season were unforgivable. There were accusations that he’d downed tools, didn’t look focussed enough, and wasn’t playing for the shirt.

Yet, he still scored 22 goals in 40 outings [Transfermarkt]. His body language, a point of contention, wasn’t an issue when he was thriving in his best seasons, and delighting Celtic supporters.

So, the Odsonne Edouard debate has become a partisan one. However, few could honestly say that we missed him tonight.

No, it was Kyogo Furuhashi leading a vibrant Celtic front three against FK Jablonec. On a night all three attackers scored, making mincemeat from Jablonec’s attempt at a low block, Edouard only came on in the latter third or so of the game.

He replaced Furuhashi, the man who could well be replacing him long term. The Japanese forward’s movement was outstanding. For one chance, which Liel Abada unfortunately didn’t put away, the former Vissel Kobe man took a defender out with just two steps.

FK Jablonec 2-4 Celtic | LIVE Reaction

FK Jablonec 2-4 Celtic | LIVE Reaction

That’s the kind of thing Odsonne Edouard used to do on a regular basis. And, again, it’s not as if he actually had a bad season in 20-21. In a summer of constant speculation about his future, though, the Jablonec game seemed like a precursor for how things are shaping up at the club.

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou’s talk of an Odsonne Edouard contingency plan are coming to fruition

What’s emerged now is a really interesting, potentially frustrating situation. Beyond Edouard and Furuhashi, the options up front for Celtic probably aren’t good enough.

Albian Ajeti enjoyed a fruitful pre-season, but suddenly looks far down the pecking order again. Leigh Griffiths just can’t seem to find fitness, and the choice to sign him up on a new deal looks increasingly misguided.

Speaking hypothetically, Odsonne Edouard is a class Celtic player, on his day. That dreaded phrase, “on his day”. Whether he’s struggling for match sharpness, or just isn’t adapting well enough to Postecoglou’s demands is unclear.

Still, in all the competitive outings he’s had so far under the new boss, he hasn’t impressed. Meanwhile, bids from Premier League teams are reported to be coming in for as much as £18.5m [Daily Record].

Is it possible that Ange Postecoglou is just phasing Odsonne Edouard out of the picture? Or is there a legitimate chance the Frenchman could see out his contract at Celtic? Again, what we don’t know about the striker’s future could fill up Paradise.

If Furuhashi continues to perform, specifically with James Forrest and Liel Abada in tow, it’s hard to see a way back for Edouard. In terms of starting matches, that is. Perhaps the logical conclusion then, is to sell him. That’s what everyone would’ve expected this window, regardless.

It’s sad; where once we had a bona fide fan favourite, we now have a striker who mixes opinion. What happens next will be fascinating, but for me, Celtic have an opportunity to rake in a substantial transfer fee and enable more quality signings to arrive in Glasgow.

In other news: Kyogo Furuhashi hits the mark – off the pitch