Odsonne Edouard should no longer be an automatic Celtic starter

By David Walton

August 1, 2021

It’s time Ange Postecoglou went bold and stopped using Odsonne Edouard as an automatic Celtic starter.

We all know Edouard’s CV and the profile he has both at the club and in Europe. He’s a well-known talent, who’s been linked with moves to the likes of AC Milan and Leicester City to name only a couple [Daily Record].

However, his stunning 2019/20 campaign is now some time ago. He’s no longer the same striker that bagged 28 goals and 19 assists in the curtailed campaign two seasons ago.

Last year, we saw a notable decline in Edouard’s form. All of a sudden, his quick feet appeared to desert him. He was taking too many touches to get the ball under control. Too many touches before he would decide to get his shot away.

It’s now far too easy to get the ball from Edouard. Many promising Celtic moves tend not to go through him anymore. The ones that do often find themselves breaking down .

Hearts 2-1 Celtic | LIVE Reaction

Last night against Hearts, Edouard was what can now be described as typically ineffective. He only managed a total of 35 touches in the entire game – the least out of everyone in the Celtic team and only two more than Hearts forward Liam Boyce. It’s worth mentioning that Celtic had just under 74% possession [WhoScored].

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Odsonne Edouard is in Celtic starting XI on reputation alone

It’s not as if you can look at Edouard’s recent goal record to defend him either. Whilst he’s offering next to nothing in build-up play, he’s only scored two goals in our last 11 competitive matches.

I don’t believe this is down to Edouard not trying like some. You can see him fighting his heart out for the ball at times and dropping deep to try and win the ball back. But there’s just been a massive regression in quality, whether it be down to confidence or whatever’s been going on at Lennoxtown over the last year.

But the fact is he’s now in the starting XI on reputation alone. Not because of his form or because of merit. He’s there because the manager hopes he can produce something out of nothing as he’s proven he can do in the past.

Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Many will ask the question who should be replacing Edouard. But I’m not saying he shouldn’t ever play for Celtic again. But it’s time for some more rotation than what we’re seeing. It’s time now to put our faith in new signing Kyogo Furuhashi. Perhaps we can see whether he can strike a partnership with Albian Ajeti, for example.

There are different options for Postecoglou to persist with outside of Edouard. He’s a player whose contract expires at the end of the season too. It’s not as if he’s here for the long-term.

So the time is now to start giving out opportunities elsewhere. Edouard isn’t putting in the performances that merit a guaranteed start anymore – as crazy as it is to believe.

In other news, John Collins says clubs are taking advantage of “desperate” Celtic in the transfer market