Celtic

Flashback: Celtic’s faith in spending £9m on Odsonne Edouard has been greatly justified

In our latest instalment of the Flashback series, we take a look back at a certain moment and look at how things might have changed those initial reactions.

Celtic already had a promising young French forward at the club in Moussa Dembele when compatriot Odsonne Edouard first came to the Hoops on loan from Paris Saint-Germain in August 2017.

The former scored 32 goals in the previous season as Brendan Rodgers’ side won the domestic treble, so the bar was set quite high for Edouard to try and emulate upon arriving in Glasgow.

A return of 11 goals in his first campaign was decent from the PSG loanee but still paled in comparison with Dembele’s debut season at Celtic, although the latter had to settle for just 15 goals in 2017/18, less than half of his tally from the previous campaign.

Edouard still impressed the Hoops enough to persuade them to set a club record transfer fee of £9m, according to Sky Sports, the following June – his Glasgow derby winner in March 2018 and a brace against Rangers a few weeks later ought to have helped tipped the scales in his favour. These Celtic fans certainly seemed happy when his move became permanent:

When Celtic couldn’t say no to Lyon’s £19.7m offer for Dembele on transfer deadline day, the podium was clear for his fellow French youngster to be the dominant striker at Parkhead, and Edouard would end up thriving on the responsibility.

He doubled his tally from the previous campaign for the 2018/19 season, ending it as Celtic’s top scorer and helping to fire them to a third consecutive treble.

It wasn’t just his volume of goals which helped endear him to the Hoops faithful, either – he again scored an ultimately crucial goal in a Glasgow derby last March and plundered another goal against Rangers in the opening weeks of the current Premiership season, his fifth against the ‘Gers in seven derby appearances.

Whereas Dembele’s goal return dipped two years ago after turning 21, Edouard has gotten even better at the same age this year. He already has nine goals to his name for Celtic this term, the most recent of those coming in the win over CFR Cluj last Thursday, while his first two appearances for the French under-21 side in September yielded four goals, as per TransferMarkt.

Chris Sutton, who cost Celtic £6m in 2000, scored 24 goals in 63 games for the club. Edouard, whose transfer fee was 50% higher in 2018, already has 42 goals for the Hoops two games shy of a century of appearances.

Even if the 21-year-old is sold next summer, just as Dembele was in August 2018, Celtic look set to make a very healthy profit on a player for whom £9m has proven to be an exceptionally smart piece of business.

Celtic fans, how glad are you that the club took up the option to sign Edouard permanently in 2018? Comment below with your views!

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Flashback: Celtic’s faith in spending £9m on Odsonne Edouard has been greatly justified
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