Celtic’s chances of keeping hold of star striker Odsonne Edouard are looking more and more bleak. With just two years left on his current contract, the Hoops must start considering their options or risk losing him for a reduced fee or even on a free transfer.
Time is not on Neil Lennon’s side. Whilst the club will want to tie the Frenchman down on a new long-term contract, it doesn’t seem like this is what the player wants. Hearts defender Andy Halliday recently commented on Edouard’s status at the club and believes he looks “unhappy” at Celtic. If this is the case, it won’t be long before his head starts to be turned by interested clubs.
If and when it does, the Hoops must take to the transfer market and bring in a replacement, which will be much easier said than done. They were linked with a move for Sheffield Wednesday’s Steven Fletcher over the summer, but talks dismantled and the striker eventually moved to Stoke City.
If Edouard is to leave Scotland, Lennon and co need to bring in a forward of similar calibre. The France youth international was on fire for the Bhoys last season, notching an astonishing 21 goals and 12 assists in 27 Premiership appearances (via Transfermarkt).
He has been quieter this season following his spell on the sidelines through self-isolation, but is still making an impact in front of goal. The only player to match his quality this campaign is Mohamed Elyounoussi, who is only with the Scottish outfit on loan. Should the Hoops lose both the Norwegian and Edouard, they will wish they’d made a move for Fletcher when they had the chance.
The 33-year-old veteran signed for the Potters on a free transfer this summer after enjoying four years in Sheffield. His final season for Wednesday saw him net 13 Championship goals and he has already gotten off the mark with four for Stoke so far this term (via Transfermarkt).
Fletcher also represented Sunderland for a large chunk of his career and attracted a lot of praise from his teammates. Eight years ago, Adam Johnson lauded the striker as an “unbelievable” signing for the Black Cats, who kept him for four years before his move to Sheffield Wednesday.
Both he and Edouard are natural goalscoring talents and it should have been a no-brainer to snap up the 33-year-old. Now it’s back to the drawing board for Lennon and Nick Hammond, who will be biting their nails over Edouard’s potentially looming departure.