Celtic legend John Hartson reckons that Odsonne Edouard was one of the reasons for Moussa Dembele leaving the club.
Dembele joined Ligue 1 side Lyon in a £19.7million move last summer – according to the BBC. By that stage Edouard was already part of the permanent staff at Celtic, after a year’s long loan the previous season, and was ready to make his mark as the main striker.
Hartson says that Edouard’s place was a reason for Dembele moving on – and he also reckons that Celtic’s current star should be valued at a similar amount.
“You look at Moussa Dembele going for £20 million,” he told the Scottish Sun.
“Edouard is younger and a France Under-21 player. He’s got the world at his feet. He will keep improving. I think he’s on a long-term contract so Celtic won’t be too worried. The offers will come in and then it’s up to the club.
“One of the reasons Dembele moved on was because they had Odsonne Edouard waiting in the wings. He’s certainly in the same bracket as Dembele if Celtic consider selling him.
“Edouard’s got the world at his feet and he’ll get better and better. He wouldn’t go cheap, that’s for sure.”
Edouard succession plan is now a big question
The £19.7million fee Celtic received for Dembele was probably a little on the low side in reflection. Despite being a Scottish record, at the time, the club could have cashed in more on one of their top talents.
Extenuating circumstances – including a reported fall-out between Rodgers and Dembele – meant that the Frenchman left for a bit below his proper value. Thankfully, his absence has barely been felt due to Edouard presence, and continued improvement, in a Celtic shirt.
The time will arrive soon when Edouard moves on. Hopefully, at that stage, the club can get a fair fee for his services – between £25-30million.
But the bigger question when the youngster departs is who will replace him? The club don’t look to have anyone around who could fill the void like he did with Dembele. That is a big problem.