Celtic’s New Striker Odsonne Edouard Has Year To Fill Dembele’s Boots

It looks as though Brendan Rodgers and his Celtic recruitment team have a bit of a type when it comes to targeting new players.

They like young, gifted players that possess a French passport.

Moussa Dembele arrived last summer and he was a striking sensation, scoring thirty-two times in his debut season. Those great performances didn’t go unnoticed and the young hitman has been linked with a host of top European sides all year but the Glasgow giants have managed to keep hold of their prize asset.

In July, the Hoops completed the £4.5m signing of Oliver Ntcham. The French youngster arrived from Manchester City, having enjoyed a long loan spell at Genoa. He has instantly impressed with his wand of a left foot, his vision and creative passes.

Then last night the Scottish Premiership champions announced that they had signed nineteen year old forward Odsonne Edouard just before the transfer window closed last night.

The young striker has plenty of potential and Celtic have a €10m option to make the deal permanent if all goes well for Odsonne in Scotland.

It’s the youngster’s raw potential and exciting pedigree that will have caught Rodgers eye.

Edouard has a good touch, pace, can use both feet and he’s composed in front of goal. He can also protect himself inside the box with his upper body strength and his close control is also top notch. I’d also expect him to come deep at times, get the ball and run at defences.

He helped the French under-17 side win the European under-17 Championships in 2015. He was the tournaments top-scorer with eight goals (three in the final) and he also won the Golden Player Award, previously won by Wayne Rooney, Cesc Fabregas and Toni Kroos.

He was also prolific for the youth sides at Paris Saint-Germian. He impressed in the UEFA Youth League and was promoted to the senior side for some glamour friendly ties.

There’s no doubt that the Hoops needed another forward within their ranks to strengthen that area in their squad.

Some might point at PSG agreeing to let the player go and say that he can’t be that good.

I don’t subscribe to that theory because PSG are a huge club these days. It’s so tough for young stars to get promoted from their youth teams and stay in the senior side.

You then factor in that Celtic’s Champions League rivals have just spent huge sums on forwards Neymar and Kylian Mbappe. So chances are going to be extremely limited for Odsonne at the Parc des Princes. Those mega rich deals also mean that PSG will be looking to sell back-up talent in the next few transfer windows in the hope of balancing the books somehow.

The biggest concern regarding Odsonne Edouard will be what happened to the player last season.

The teenager was loaned out to fellow Ligue 1 side Toulouse last term. It was a move much heralded and was seen as Edouard’s chance to make a big impact in his homeland’s top flight.

But unfortunately the move went disastrously wrong. He only scored once in seventeen games for Le Téfécé. 

His deal was then terminated in February after the hitman was involved in a incident which involved Odsonne firing an air-gun at members of the public. In July the forward was handed a fine and a suspended prison sentence for his involvement in the incident.

Celtic will no doubt hope that his move to Parkhead will see Odsonne Edouard determined to make good of the potential he possesses.

I think the plan is for Edouard to become Dembele’s eventual replacement at Parkhead. Not immediately but if Moussa returns from injury and does well in the Champions League then the Glasgow club could expect big bids in January and/or next summer.

They will no doubt want his replacement already at the club before they sell Dembele.

This year is Edouard’s season to show that he can become a fine striker and do well when he gets his chance. If he makes good on his promise then the €10m fee next summer will seem like another snip for Celtic in the transfer market, especially if they get £30m for Moussa Dembele at the same time.

What better way to replace a French youth internationalist than with another fine French youth prodigy.

It’s now up to Edouard to show his qualities in a Celtic jersey and make the best out of his opportunities on and off the park:

“I am really looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and we will work hard together to bring our fans as much success as possible.’

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