Crystal Palace are enjoying a comfortable season in the Premier League, currently 11th in the table but there is no doubt that Patrick Vieira will want to push for that top half finish in his first season in charge at the club.
The French manager’s team have been grinding out results as of late and are currently unbeaten in their last four league games in the Premier League, most recently holding the Premier League champions to a draw at Selhurst Park.
Vieira will now be hoping that he can inspire that final charge to get inside the top half of the table, especially when they are so close, just two points behind ninth-place Aston Villa.
Palace must seize every opportunity open to them in the final months of the campaign, and with that in mind, it might be a good opportunity for the manager to freshen up the attacking line with a player who is a proven and experienced goal-scorer.
Odsonne Edouard has not been given much time in the team for the last few months, despite only Conor Gallagher and Wilfried Zaha scoring more goals than him this season so far, but for some reason, he has only played 26 minutes of football in the team’s last five league fixtures. It’s a wonder why when you consider the attacking threat he offers.
The £79k-per-week star who was hailed a “special talent” by former manager Neil Lennon, has been effective in offensive play with six goals and three assists, creating two big chances and making 0.8 key passes per game, playing 52 minutes on average during his 23 appearances this season, according to SofaScore.
When he plays consistently in a team, his threat in front of goal only heightens which is something we saw at Celtic last season when he played in Lennon’s side week in, week out. He tallied up 22 goals and six assists in 40 appearances for the Hoops, which ultimately caught the eye of Palace.
Now with a highly competitive attacking line in Vieira’s side, Edouard has found himself pushed out of the team and unable to gain minutes.
However, judging by the statistics in his previous performances and goal involvements for both Palace and Celtic last term, the centre forward could be the key to unlocking that top half finish come May.