New Celtic signing Patryk Klimala has admitted that he doesn’t see Odsonne Edouard as a rival, and instead seems ready to strike up a partnership with the Frenchman.
Klimala arrives at the club with Edouard in the position of leading man up top. French Eddy had his best-ever start to a season this term too. In his second full campaign as the number one striker, Edouard rattled home 16 goals and bagged 15 assists in 31 appearances (Transfermarkt).
For any new striker at the club, displacing Eddy is a thankless task. For us, we just can’t see a Celtic team that has Edouard on the bench these days.
But Klimala doesn’t see the Frenchman as some form of rival. Instead, the Poland under-21 international admits he hopes to strike up an understanding with our main man. Speaking in the Scottish Sun, this is what the new recruit had to say on it:
“I’m prepared for a fight to play, but I don’t see Odsonne Edouard in any shape of form as my enemy.
“Obviously I’m going to fight to get into the team. If I play alongside him, I’ll support him. If I’m going to be on the bench, I’ll still do my best for the team when I get the chance.
“Whatever is best for the team, I will adjust.”
A partnership that will bring us nine-in-a-row?
Neil Lennon reportedly wants both Klimala and Edouard to play together (Scottish Sun). And why not? After all, it is effectively a £12.5m strike duo we have on our hands. Klimala’s £3.5m fee and Eddy’s record-breaking £9m figure shows we have a lot of talent there (Sky Sports).
Embracing that aspect will help Klimala a lot more than going it alone would. Given the influence that Edouard has on this Celtic team, you can forget him being dropped at any point in the run-in. It opens up the management team to massive criticism if they did that too.
Overall this season, both men’s goal-figures combined this season adds to 23. If Klimala is to be a success, he’ll need to have a more productive second half of the campaign than he did in the first.
Any partnership will also have to see Celtic change formation. At times this season, Lennon has changed things to a 3-5-2 and even a 4-1-4-1 formation. It also isn’t clear whether Klimala could play alongside Edouard or just behind him in the old-fashioned second-striker position.
The problem is, if Lenny does do that, it likely stifles the number 10’s room to create. If Celtic do switch to a two-striker system, it’s going to be at the expense of someone, and it simply can’t be Ryan Christie, Mohamed Elyounoussi/Mikey Johnston, or James Forrest.
Lennon will know what he wants to do, but it’ll interesting to see what his plan is here.