As soon as Eddie Howe proudly walks through the doors of Parkhead, Celtic could reduce him to frustration and anguish.
That’s just the way things have gone for the Bhoys this year and not even a new manager will have things his own way immediately. That’s because Howe will be faced with the prospect of arguably Celtic’s best player departing before he’s even had a chance to watch him.
Odsonne Edouard has attracted the interest of top clubs in England and it feels inevitable that he has played his final game for the Hoops.
The incoming manager will have plenty to address when he arrives at Paradise but finding a new striker will surely be at the top of his agenda. Many a forward will be linked but Howe could go a long way to becoming an instant hit by signing Genk striker Paul Onuachu.
Speaking on A Celtic State of Mind earlier this season, pundit Colin Watt suggested that the 27-year-old is a player who the recruitment team should be considering.
He said: “One that I think people should go and take a look at [is] Paul Onuachu.
“He’s a Nigerian striker that plays for Genk; he was formerly of FC Midtjylland, and he’s scored almost 100 goals in five seasons, 6ft 7in tall. Roughly, the going price for him is about £7-10m.”
That kind of record in front of goal is enough to make you drool. If Edouard does indeed move on, this suggest that there’d be fewer better players to replace him.
Onuachu finished as the top scorer in the Belgian top flight this term, racking up 35 goals in just 41 outings across all competitions. A predator in the box, his tally for Genk is a hugely impressive 45 goals from 69 appearances.
Very few attacking players offer what the Nigerian does, either. Not only can he beat the goalkeeper with unrelenting confidence, he’s also an absolute bully for defenders.
Standing at 6 foot 7, he can shrug players off in devastating fashion, winning four aerial duels per match this term.
Speaking about the 26-year-old’s qualities, his former FC Midtjylland teammate Alexander Scholz said: “Years ago, when he was with us, he was already the best striker in our championship. It’s impossible to beat him because he’s so tall. He is a worker, he has always worked a lot. He had to wait for his chance but I’m happy for him.”
What’s scary is that Onuachu also has plenty of pace, using his long levers to gallop beyond the defensive line and find the net. Edouard has proven to be a physical presence up front for Celtic in the last few years but the Genk striker would literally take that to new heights.
If Howe is seeking a replacement for the Frenchman, he should look no further than Onuachu; he’d surely be a success in Glasgow.