Former Aberdeen striker Noel Whelan believes that Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard is on the decline after his recent poor run of form.
Edouard on a downward spiral?
The France U21 international has come under intense scrutiny after his slow start to the 2020/21 campaign, and was accused of looking “disinterested” by former Hoops man Frank McAvennie during a pre-season game against Ross County (cited by the Daily Record).
Last season, Edouard scored 27 times from 45 appearances and won the Celtic Player of the Year award during their nine-in-a-row season. As a result, he was heavily linked with a move to Arsenal during the summer (via GlasgowLive).
These events echo what occurred the summer before, with teammate Olivier Ntcham admitting that he was disappointed that his move to FC Porto fell through (cited by the Daily Record). As a result, he started fewer Premiership games than he is on track for this term – he worked his way back into Neil Lennon’s side (via TransferMarkt).
Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan questioned his desire and urged Edouard to prove himself once more.
“I do not think he is commanding the same price tag as he was in the summer because of the injuries, his lack of game time and lack of form,” he said.
“He has found himself on the bench at the weekend because other players have taken their chance.
“Edouard needs to fight for his place. At the minute, I think he is going to have to sit on the bench for quite a while.
“Maybe speculation over the summer did not help as well but the window is close and if he does want to move to the Premier League he has to start performing for Celtic.”
Whelan added that he doesn’t believe Edouard is fully fit, acknowledging that he has been hampered with problems and feels that he doesn’t look like he’s going to break back into the team.
Transfer Tavern take
Whelan is probably right on this subject. No goals in his last four Scottish Premiership games could be signs for a player who has his heart elsewhere – just like Ntcham did the summer before.
His comments suggest that Celtic could have another Ntcham situation on their hands after the central midfielder didn’t get the European move that he wanted. Lennon deserves credit for the way he handled it, and it could have turned ugly if he got it wrong.
After testing positive for coronavirus, Edouard hasn’t been the same player. But events in the summer won’t have helped Celtic’s cause.
The next two months will be crucial for the Frenchman. He has the opportunity to make history at the club this season and as they are playing catchup to arch-rivals Rangers already, Edouard needs to step up.
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