Neil Lennon has stated that Odsonne Edouard was left disappointed after failing to bag a move out of Celtic last summer.
The Frenchman is closing in on the final year of his contract, and looks set to leave the club at the end of the season. It’s expected the Hoops will suffer a major blow to any fee received given his contract situation.
This is the result of a risk taken by the club last summer. Celtic could’ve sold Edouard for top dollar, as reports of £40million demands began doing the rounds [Daily Mail]. But the Hoops decided to hang onto the prolific striker after his 28-goal campaign last term. This was to undoubtedly secure the holy grail of 10-in-a-row, which we’ve ultimately failed to do.
Subsequently, Edouard started the season in poor form and only bagged seven league goals in the first half of the season. Things have changed in recent weeks, and he goes into tonight’s game with Aberdeen looking for his ninth goal in seven matches. And Lennon is delighted to see him kicking on after apparently wanting the club to sell him in the summer.
“He felt he missed out”
As quoted by the Scottish Sun, the manager said: “You can’t keep a good player down for long. He has really found good form at the minute and I am really enjoying working with him and watching him play.
“He’s had issues from the first half of the season. He felt he missed out on a potential move, so he has galvanised himself and is making a good contribution at the minute. We just kept working with him. We kept working on the training ground and cajoling him and supporting him really.
“He has done so much for me since I came back in the second spell and it’s important that I support him as well. We are getting a good response out of him now and I am very pleased with him now.”
Lennon pleased with Edouard form; more goals = higher value for Celtic this summer
No wonder Lennon is satisfied with Edouard’s return to form. It’s come at a key time for him personally. With supporter apathy for the manager at an all-time high, Eddy’s goalscoring run has eased the pressure (slightly) on the manager.
It’s also big for the football club that Edouard continues his form throughout the second half of the season. The more goals he scores, the better chance we have of bagging a bigger fee for him.
Many may look at his early-season run of seven league goals and think it’s hardly a dreadful return. But compare that to the fact he ended last term with 28 goals. That was also a campaign curtailed with as many as eight games remaining. He was going to shoot over 30 and potentially the 35-goal mark.
If Edouard produced another seven league goals in the second half of this season it would leave him on 14. With 21 of his goals coming on league duty last season, that’s a big drop off in performance levels. So it’s great to see him showing us all what he’s truly capable of.
Celtic fans can’t really get much joy between now and the end of the season. But if Edouard can continue scoring in the coming weeks, it’ll at least provide something to smile about. It will also help us secure as maximum a value as possible for him this summer.
But regardless of what happens between now and the end of the campaign, we’ll always regret the Frenchman’s poor form in the first five months.