Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard must feel like one of the unluckiest players at Parkhead.
It seems to be that no matter what the £9million man does, he can’t hold his place in the team on a weekly-basis.
When Brendan Rodgers departed and Neil Lennon arrived, he must’ve thought that was the moment. He came on to score a winner at Tynecastle, before then being drafted in as a number 10 against Hibs. When that didn’t work out, he was benched for Aberdeen – again coming on late on.
Instead, it’s been Oliver Burke who’s been taking the mantle of Celtic’s first-choice striker. And whilst there’s plenty to like about the Scotland international, he isn’t an out-and-out centre-forward.
Burke only has four goals to his name in 14 appearances. That’s a decent return for a winger, but if he’s playing up top, Celtic need bigger numbers from him.
The West Brom man, currently on loan until the end of the season, has plenty of potential. But he’s nowhere near as good as Edouard is up top.
In Edoaurd’s 24 league appearances, he’s bagged 12 goals and assisted on five occasions. But it’s his strength, link-up play, positional awareness, and close control that make him more of a threat up top than Burke.
Lennon has looked towards Burke up top
Since Lennon came in the door, Burke has started up top in all three matches. But it’s time for him to start rivalling James Forrest down the right. There’s no reason why Celtic can’t alternate between the pair.
In terms of the striker’s jersey, however, that simply must go to Edouard. Celtic didn’t pay £9m for a squad player, and the Frenchman has proven he can be so much more effective than Burke when he’s been on the pitch.
Only regular game-time will have Edouard flying once again. Coming on for cameos and hoping he produces something late on won’t help anyone’s confidence.
Celtic travel to Dens Park on Sunday to face Dundee. Lennon, by now, must’ve surely learned his lesson regarding Edouard and Burke.
As mentioned previously, the right-wing slot has to be where the on-loan West Brom star fights for. Forrest hasn’t done enough this season to merit playing every single game. Burke has also shown flashes of quality when he’s tackled the right side on a few rare occasions so far.
But it’s time to stop messing Edouard about and get him in the team. He’s, considerably, Celtic’s best striker.