The Celtic manager’s recent comments appear to confirm the rumours that have surrounded Odsonne Edouard for the past several months.
It is not surprising that some of the biggest clubs in Europe are reportedly after Odsonne Edouard. After all, the Frenchman has been an absolute talisman since joining Celtic and enjoyed a spectacular season last time around, when he scored 27 goals and provided 19 assists in just 45 appearances. That is an involvement in more than a goal a game!
He has failed to hit those same standards this season though. After scoring a hattrick on Flag Day against Hamilton Academical, he has gone on a dry run by his standards. In 12 appearances in all competitions since then, Edouard has managed just 3 goals.
And Neil Lennon’s recent comments suggest that the rumours surrounding his Celtic exit is a reason for that. He also tells him that keeping up his form will be better for his own interests as well, which one would guess is a big move at the end of this season.
As reported by The Scottish Sun, Lennon said:
"“Listen, he’s a human being and he’s still young at 22 and there has been a lot of interest or speculation about him. There’s no question it affected him and his performances.“He’s been away with France and maybe that will give him a little time at home as well.“We’ll have a good discussion with him and, hopefully, he’ll kick on and get back to his best.“What we have with Odsonne is an outstanding, talented player and it’s up to us to try and get the best out of him again.“It’s also in his own best interests to knuckle down and get back to playing the way he can.”"
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This is the closest that the manager has ever come to publicly admitting that the Frenchman wants to leave although rumours have been doing the rounds for a long time now.
One would think that he would have been actually allowed to leave in the previous summer transfer window if 10IAR was not on the line this time around. After all, he had a magnificent season and the club could have gotten a £25-30 million transfer fee for him.
Now, with his contract running out quickly and him looking out of form, that number might have already taken a hit. But that is not just a worry for the club. Edouard will know that if he does not deliver the numbers this season, a lot of the clubs who came calling this summer might not do the same next time around. Thus, it is best for all parties involved if the Frenchman finds his scoring boots again.