"No bids" for Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard; Bhoys must hold on to him

By Euan Davidson

January 28, 2021

Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard isn’t as in-demand as it may have seemed.

During the January transfer window, Edouard has been linked to everyone from Leicester City to Real Madrid. Reported fees have varied from £20m [Daily Record] to £35m [Daily Star], with transfer values fluctuating wildly during international economic toil.

There was, and is, every possibility Celtic may still lose Edouard before the window closes on Tuesday morning. Yet, boss Neil Lennon has refuted the idea.

As quoted by The National, Lennon said:

“There have been no bids for him, there’s been no speculation surrounding him this window, there’s been no interest in him at all particularly in this window.”

Is that quite true, Lenny? It’s not up to a manager to say there’s been “no speculation”. Objectively, there has been. No bids, though; that’s good news for Celtic fans, I’d argue.

The Frenchman once again showcased his exquisite technique with a well-taken finish against Hamilton last night, and there’s plenty in the tank before he eventually departs the club.

Celtic celebrate an Odsonne Edouard goal against Hamilton / (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Two schools of thought over Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard

There are, of course, two main schools of thought regarding our talismanic striker.

  1. Edouard is very, very good at football. We should get as much out of him and for him as possible.
  2. Edouard is in fact, overrated, doesn’t put a shift in, and we should punt him now, as he may be less valuable in the summer.

Let’s look at the latter, first. It’s undeniable that Edouard’s contract runs out in less than 18 months’ time. At the end of the 21-22 season, he’ll be available on a Bosman, provided he isn’t snapped up elsewhere. Or, far less likely, he extends his stay at Celtic Park.

Therefore, a mooted £20m now becomes £15m in the summer, for example. To use a well-trodden cliché, the French striker’s contract situation will be the drop of blood in the water when the summer window arrives. The sharks are a host of European clubs. You’ve watched Jaws. You get it.

Equally, some would argue, the season’s done. Patch it, rebuild. To do that, you need to create funds, and selling Edouard is a way to do that. It’s an argument I sympathise with entirely. However, as you may have noticed, I’m head of the French Eddy fan club, and I want to see more of him at Celtic.

In a real sense, the pressure is off Eddy. He alone can’t save our season, but he can put himself in the shop window by scoring plenty of goals. Despite all of his struggles this season, he’s managed a goal every other game in all competitions [Transfermarkt].

Big game player: Edouard after his cheeky Scottish Cup Final penalty / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

French Eddy: a real contributor

Looking at his overall contribution last night, it’s glaringly obvious what he gives this team. Working next to Griffiths, the two dovetail and instinctively know what the other will do.

There are times where Griffiths will come deep to collect the ball, with Edouard making distracting runs to drag defenders out of position, before looking for a shot. Or, vice versa; Edouard’s goal last night being the best example. As a ball-carrier, Edouard is effective; he dribbled with the ball 6 times last night, more than Taylor, Elyounoussi and Griffiths combined [WhoScored?]. He’s a player who can create his own goalscoring opportunities.

His touches were also impressive, with 56. That was just two less than David Turnbull, who is a midfielder. His overall contributions indicate his enthusiasm and industry. Yet, plenty of observers get the impression he can’t be bothered. That’s far from the truth.

I, for one, hope to get a few more months of goals and work-rate out of Odsonne Edouard. There’s a misconception about his game that is entirely unfair, based on his end-product and ability to get around the pitch.

Often, players with icy demeanours will be called out for not looking tired enough, even if the numbers suggest they’re working as hard as anyone. Edouard is that type of player.

So, let’s appreciate Edouard while we have him. While it’s incredibly unlikely we’ll catch up with Steven Gerrard’s lot south of the Clyde, there are plenty of games left. If Griffiths and Edouard can continue to work together, we could have at least something to celebrate by the time June rolls around.

Do you disagree? Or do you think Edouard is a prize asset? Debate it, over on the 67 Hail Hail forum!