Celtic favourite Chris Sutton reckons some of the recent criticism towards Odsonne Edouard has been harsh.
The Frenchman looked out of sorts in Riga last night, and was eventually brought off by Neil Lennon with the match still goalless.
Many Hoops fans have debated whether the 22-year-old has an eye on the exit door, but Sutton thinks his below-par displays are more down to his current physical condition.
Speaking on BT Sport’s Scottish Football Extra (Friday, 18:25), Sutton said: “Odsonne Edouard looked out of sorts. There are question marks over whether he’s still carrying an injury or could he be bothered?
“I think the ‘could he be bothered’ brigade, I’m not sure about at all.
“There were people casting that aspersion at him, which I thought was a little bit harsh.
“He’s just not up to speed yet, as a lot of Celtic players are.”
Edouard is a key player for Celtic, having registered 28 goals in 42 starts last season. (Celtic Fitba Stats)
Edouard has had injury issues already this season
Sutton’s words are likely to be comforting to many Hoops fans who fear Edouard’s departure may be on the horizon.
There may be something to the Englishman’s comments too.
Edouard did sit out our win over Livingston on Saturday, after he complained to Lennon that he was still suffering from an earlier thigh injury. (Scottish Sun)
Perhaps that is the real reason for Eddy’s disappointing performances in recent matches.
But, if he is still struggling, the Celtic boss must not force him to play in the coming weeks.
We now have other striking options, like Albian Ajeti and Mohamed Elyounoussi, so there really is no requirement for Edouard to play if unfit.
Let’s just hope the prolific Frenchman can get back up to speed and start performing to the level we know he can.