Report: Celtic look to former West Brom man Kyle Edwards to bolster the wings

By Euan Davidson

July 6, 2021

Celtic have reportedly opened talks over a move for former West Bromwich Albion winger Kyle Edwards.

Football Insider report that Edwards, recently released by the Baggies, would require a £300,000 training compensation fee. Edwards, a West Brom Academy talent, only managed 114 minutes of Premier League action last season [Transfermarkt]. In total, he’s made 49 appearances for his hometown team.

His release has alerted clubs to his availability. Primarily a left-winger, Edwards averaged 1.5 dribbles per 90 in 19-20, when he accrued over 900 minutes of Championship action [WhoScored?]. His numbers don’t leap off the page, but the former England international occupies a position of weakness for the Bhoys.

After the departure of Mohamed Elyounoussi, Mikey Johnston is left as the only natural left-sided attacker. Luca Connell can deputise in that role, but he’s more comfortable through the middle.

Edwards, who was close to joining Luton Town in the Winter 2021 window [Birmingham Mail], isn’t a blockbuster name. However, he is a potentially quality squad option, with plenty to prove. If he can fall upwards, and move to Celtic, he’s a more than useful piece for Ange Postecoglou and his – currently – thin squad.

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Fine, it’s not Jens Petter Hauge, or an Elyounoussi return. However, we’ve long said that picking up talented free agents is going to be a key part of the rebuild. Not every player needs to be a few million pounds of expenditure.

Kyle Edwards; a solid option? / (Photo by Adam Fradgley – AMA/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images)

Given that Armstrong Okoflex is gone, our already sparse options are even more scarce. It’s sad to say, but Mikey Johnston’s injury record isn’t the best sign. We need either an upgrade or some back-up as a matter of urgency. A youngster with Premier League experience, who has performed to a decent level in the Championship, too? It’s a no-brainer to thicken out the squad depth.

Edwards, for his part, has something to prove. You’re not going to play me in the Premier League?, he’ll think, then I’ll prove myself in Europe and in front of 60,000. That’s if he moves; other offers will come his way before this is said and done. But, as biased as it sounds, this is a really great opportunity for him.

The forgotten-in-England-resurgent-in-Scotland narrative is well-trodden. Chris Sutton, after a difficult season at Chelsea, was fantastic. Scott Sinclair, too. Fine; there are plenty of the calibre of Tyler Blackett, Juninho etc. But it’s an informed gamble for both parties if it goes ahead.

This could be an interesting one. And as far as we’re concerned, we need the numbers in. Kyle Edwards will either be a fantastic bargain, or a low-risk venture.

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