According to a recent report by the Daily Record, Celtic legend Peter Grant has tipped talismanic French striker Odsonne Edouard to return to the eleven in time for their all-important clash against Rangers on the back of the international break. Edouard is said to have returned a positive Coronavirus test result, which is sure to have worried the Celtic camp quite a bit. More than whether he would be able to play against Rangers, Grant believes that Lennon’s team’s primary concern would’ve been the attacker’s well being above all else.
Although the report has claimed that Grant tips Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard to play against Rangers, whether or not he’s able to heal in time completely remains to be seen. Speaking to the Record, he said, “Neil will only be interested in the boy’s wellbeing, 100 per cent. There is absolutely no doubt about that. That would have been his first thought when he got the phone call on Tuesday night. But if he is allowed to go back into training on the Thursday before the Rangers match, there is no doubt in my mind he would be available. If he’s in good health, Neil will want him to play.”
What Does Odsonne Edouard Add To This Celtic Setup?
The Frenchman, without a shadow of a doubt, has been the Celts’ most influential player over the last couple of seasons. Not only does he score goals for Neil Lennon’s side, but he seems to produce the goods every time something is riding on the result.
Edouard’s big-game proficiency has made him a real favourite amongst the fans, while there’s no need to even begin questioning the killer instinct that he offers in front of goal. An excellent finisher of the ball, Edouard’s quality has been on full display on various occasions this season itself.
The former PSG man is adept at timing his runs into space, which is an ability that he uses extremely well too. Not only was the youngster the league’s top scorer last season, but during the second half of the campaign, he almost singlehandedly guided them through to three points on several fixtures. Despite being a striker by position, nothing can be taken away from Edouard’s brilliant link-up play, and his uncanny ability to find a pass. Although he hasn’t started the current season on the same level of form, over time, he is sure to come good in this campaign as well.
What Options Do Lennon Have In Edouard’s Potential Absence?
The most direct replacement for the Frenchman would be Swiss striker Albian Ajeti. The former West Ham United man was acquired on a permanent transfer in the summer window that just passed, and it must be conceded that he has managed to make quite the impression on the Celtic faithful. Not only has he managed to score goals on a consistent basis, but his overall involvement in the play has been commendable too. Meanwhile, Lennon also has two other options to choose from – Leigh Griffiths and Patryk Klimala. The duo were both on the scoresheet last weekend, and have proven their talents on various occasions.
Grant Tips Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard To Play Against Rangers: Can Lennon Do Without Him?
There have been multiple instances this season when the Hoops have started the game without Edouard, and gone on to win comfortably. Ajeti offers a perfectly able alternative, and if the Swiss striker is injured, there are two further options available on the bench as well. Considering that the Coronavirus has caused the Frenchman’s absence, everyone involved in the team will be more cautious about playing him prematurely. Expect Neil Lennon not to take any risks when it comes to this matter, as Celtic have the depth as well as quality to win the Old Firm derby even without Edouard leading the line.