The Odsonne Edouard call Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has to make tomorrow

By Euan Davidson

August 28, 2021

If you’re Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou, it seems a simple enough question: do you play Odsonne Edouard tomorrow?

Provided yesterday hadn’t happened, the picture would be clearer. Edouard, a thorn in Rangers’ side since joining the Hoops, provided real balance against AZ Alkmaar. He’s scored in recent games against St Mirren and Dundee.

Foremost, he’s a big-game player, one who lives these tantalising occasions. We’ve seen that domestically and in Europe, regardless of his “body language” or “attitude” last season.

He’s also, on paper, perhaps our best player, still. But then came the transfer talk. At an extremely inopportune time for Edouard, Rubin Kazan, Bordeaux, Everton and Crystal Palace have all reportedly lodged interest, or even made bids.

For both Edouard and Postecoglou, it’s an unnecessary headache in the lead-up to a massive game. Undoubtedly, it’s going to factor into Postecoglou’s team selection for our trip to Ibrox.

So far, Postecoglou has been impressed by how Edouard’s trained and played. In a recent press conference, he said as much [Celtic TV]. And, let’s be clear, if he wasn’t encouraged by the striker’s attitude, he wouldn’t pick him. Ask Boli Bolingoli or Leigh Griffiths, neither of whom have featured thus far.

Celtic to face Bayer Leverkusen, Real Betis and Ferencvaros in Europa League | LIVE Reaction

Celtic to face Bayer Leverkusen, Real Betis and Ferencvaros in Europa League | LIVE Reaction

It’s a headache over Odsonne Edouard for Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou

The thing is, do you play someone under so much transfer scrutiny? Or, do you play him despite it?

From one perspective, it’s a potentially ideal chance for Edouard to sign off in style. A move has seemed inevitable for what feels like an epoch. A goal against a side he’s beaten six times, scoring seven, would be the perfect farewell [Transfermarkt].

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Or, the speculation heating up to this extent might be too much for Edouard. It’s true of anyone; if you were being publicly head-hunted by four big companies while you tried to work, it’d have an affect on you.

The balance of risk and reward is a fragile one, here. If you play Edouard, and he disappoints, it just puts more supporters on his back ahead of a likely exit. As someone who seems the empathetic type, Postecoglou might not want to put that pressure on him.

But he also knows what he’s capable of. And, as we’ve seen over the last four seasons, that means scoring goals against our biggest rivals. The thought of an on-form Eddy and Kyogo going right at Rangers is exciting, to say the least.

If you’re Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou, what do you do? We’ll have to find out tomorrow.

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