Former Celtic striker Andy Walker is, at best, controversial.
Inadvertently or otherwise, the Sky Sports pundit has a habit of winding up Celtic supporters. More recently, however, he’s been on the money with his comments about the club hierarchy. Before the Bhoys’ bleak 1-1 draw with Hibernian, Walker blasted Dermot Desmond and Peter Lawwell’s “arrogance” regarding the now infamous Dubai trip.
However, he may find more criticism with his latest comments, on Sky Sports’ imaginatively titled ‘Scottish Football Podcast’.
Walker claimed that for star striker Odsonne Edouard, £15m represented good value. Given that we were talking about a drop to £20m for the Frenchman mere weeks ago, Edouard’s stock seems to have fallen further. That’s despite Edouard scoring relentlessly over the last run of fixtures. The criticism is, perhaps, getting silly.
Ex-Celtic man Andy Walker evaluates Eddy
Walker claimed [Sky Sports]:
“Odsonne Edouard realises that he’s got ability and is worth a lot of money. How much? I’m not sure, as he’s not been firing on all cylinders.
“Let’s say they paid £9m for him but any player who switches off – I think that’s alarming for any potential suitor. I know that it’s your job as the manager and the coaching staff to keep players on board but Edouard, Ntcham and a few others didn’t get the moves that they were expecting last summer.
“Neil Lennon highlighted as much after the defeat to Ferencvaros. He wanted players to just leave, but that was just one of the problems that Celtic had at the start of the season. Edouard didn’t appear totally committed, and I think now he realises it’s not so long until the summer transfer window.
Some interesting choices for criticism
Of all the players to describe as switched-off or unmotivated, Edouard seems a strange choice. A striker who’s scored 9 in his last 10 [WhoScored?], you might’ve thought, would be more immune to criticism.
There’s a prevailing myth around Edouard, that he just isn’t interested. Fine, he may be thinking about his future, but if he wasn’t totally committed, he wouldn’t boast as many touches and cover as much ground as he does.
If you rewatch our last match against St Mirren, you can find multiple occasions where Edouard picks up the ball from his own half. He runs up and down the pitch with incredible regularity, involves himself in build-up and takes his chances well.
Why is his commitment to Celtic, at this particular moment, being questioned? Empirically, he puts a shift in week-in week-out for the Bhoys, and is on fire in front of goal. It’s hard to know what more anyone could ask of the French striker.
Yet, in the eyes of pundits, £15m is good value for our best player. Only last season, talk of at least £30m didn’t seem beyond the realm of possibility. Even in a Covid-ruined, injury-plagued season, Edouard is scoring goals and winning matches for Celtic.
According to Andy Walker, though, Edouard is worth the same as paying Raheem Sterling for a year [Goal].