Lennon Clarifies His Intention To Keep This Striker Next Season: Why Celtic Can’t Afford To Let Him Go

What Neil Lennon Can Do To Fix Celtic’s Lingering Striker Woes - Lennon and Edouard
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 02: Neil Lennon Head Coach of Celtic congratulates Odsonne Edouard of Celtic as he comes off the pitch during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Celtic and Hamilton Academical at Celtic Park Stadium on August 02, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

According to a recent interview given to Celtic TV by Neil Lennon, the manager has clarified his intention of holding onto Odsonne Edouard beyond the end of the summer window. The gaffer then explained his decision to drop Edouard to the bench for the weekend win against Livingston.

He said that the Frenchman was fatigued from playing two full nineties for France and that the player himself requested to be benched for the upcoming fixture. Lennon further went on to express his desire to keep Edouard, by stating that the player ‘is not for sale’.

Although the report has clarified that Celtic want to keep Odsonne Edouard past the summer, it’s certainly not going to be an easy task. Speaking to Celtic TV after the match, Lennon said, “We do not want to sell. We have had no bids or confirmed interest in him. I am hoping come the end of the window he will still be a Celtic player. He is not for sale. A lot of this rumbling behind the scene is speculation just now. There is a contingency and there will be a lot of talk about Odsonne. We just want him fit and ready for Thursday.”

What Is Celtic’s Current Strike Situation?

The Parkhead club don’t boast the strongest attacking roster in the world, but it must be conceded that they have the numbers required to see out the season without too many worries. Their striking options include Albian Ajeti and Patryk Klimala as well, with Leigh Griffiths seemingly on the periphery of the squad. Despite the availability of a couple of alternate names, Odsonne Edouard has remained the first-choice striker at Celtic. The Frenchman’s contributions to the side simply cannot be underplayed, and this could play a huge part in the striker’s eventual decision as well.

Celtic Want To Keep Odsonne Edouard Past The Summer - Edouard scores
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – AUGUST 02: Odsonne Edouard of Celtic scores his sides first goal during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Celtic and Hamilton Academical at Celtic Park Stadium on August 02, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Albian Ajeti was brought in from West Ham United as Neil Lennon looked to add some much-needed firepower to their attack-line. Despite a decent enough introduction to the Scottish game, it’s safe to say that he will need time to get accustomed to the system. Patryk Klimala meanwhile, was a revelation during the Celts’ pre-season tour in France. Although he offers an extremely promising presence, the fact that he is still only 22 will be playing on the back of the manager’s mind as well.

What Is Celtic’s Situation With Regard To The League Table?

The Parkhead club currently find themselves just one point off Rangers atop the table, albeit with a game in hand. Not only have they managed to keep up with the pace being set by Steven Gerrard’s men, but they’ve also done it having gone through a difficult situation with the Boli Bolingoli issue. Now seemingly back to full flow, it would take a truly Herculean effort from Rangers to keep up with the pace that Celtic tend to set. Despite their recent resurgence, the title-race is still far from over, and keeping Edouard would have an important part to play.

Celtic Want To Keep Odsonne Edouard Past The Summer: Why Lennon Must Get Him To Stay

Edouard offers the sort of presence in attack that none of the other Celtic forwards can, and that’s what makes him such an important part of this side. Undoubtedly the best finisher in the team by a large distance, the former PSG man’s goalscoring rate at Celtic should alone be enough to convince Lennon to keep him. With the gaffer now expressing his desire to hold onto the Frenchman as well, the ball is in the striker’s court to make the final decision. With a tenth straight league title on the line, Edouard’s sheer ambition and drive are likely to keep him at the club beyond the current summer window.

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