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celtic Dembele, Edouard & Musonda

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saoirse

fucked if I know
Staff member
Oct 4, 2014
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At times he’s seemed like the Od man out at Celtic. There’s been plenty of debate around Moussa Dembele, riffs over Leigh Griffiths but barely a word about Odsonne Edouard.

Brendan Rodgers reckons it’s about time the on-loan PSG hitman got tongues wagging after his star turn against Hearts in midweek.

Edouard was drafted in last summer but hasn’t quite been able to nail down a regular place with Griffiths and Dembele fighting it out for the front role in between visits to the treatment table.

The French youngster has had to be patient but his manager has complete faith he will be a smash hit in the second half of the season.



Odsonne Edouard opens the scoring for Celtic (Image: SNS Group)


Edouard battles with Randall (Image: PA Wire)

Celtic have an option to buy the 19-year-old at the end of the summer but at around £7million it would be a hefty outlay for a kid with potential.

But Rodgers is convinced the hitman will show his worth as he’s a star in the making who has somehow managed to hover under the radar despite firing six goals in just nine starts for the club.

The Hoops boss said: “Odsonne has come in here and he doesn’t have people behind him trying
to piece together a load of propaganda about how good he is and how he’s linked to other
clubs. People can then just pick up on he’s a young player.

“This is a boy from PSG who is their top goalscorer through all their levels of football and this includes when Moussa was there and all other players.

“He’s gone into international football and broken all types of records. He’s been brought in here because I think he can go into the team and play at any time.

“If you look at his goals to games ratio since he’s been here, he probably should have had three goals the other night. So he’s an exceptional talent. I’ve never had any doubt about him.

“It was difficult for him when he first came in but he played in a role just off the side the other night and he can do that because we’ve worked on it in training and we’ve seen how clever and bright he is, how fast he is.



Could the striker seal a permanent switch to Glasgow? (Image: SNS)

“He’s got goals in him, his first goal the other night was absolutely brilliant, running at that speed to then lift it with that power, it was an outstanding finish.

“He’s disappointed he didn’t score his one on one and there was another one that came back to him. But his talent is there and what’s pleasing for me is the graft he puts in.”

Rodgers reckons Edouard is ready to shine but he’s even more thrilled to see his big French pal get back to business.

Dembele has spent more time on the back pages than on the pitch of late.

But with the transfer window coming and going with no bids that took his fancy the frontman looked like his mind was back on the job against the Jambos.

It took a sitdown with his gaffer to remind him of what he does best and the video conference with Rodgers seemed to do the trick. And the Parkhead gaffer believes Dembele will be like a new man for the run-in now the noise has quietened down.

Rodgers said: “I thought he was back to somewhere near his best the other night.

“There’s no doubt it’s been a distraction which is natural.

“But we sat down on Sunday and Monday and went through what his strengths are.



Moussa Dembele was back to his best against Hearts (Image: Ian MacNicol/Getty)

“When he plays to those strengths then he’s very hard to cope with and I think you saw that the other
night. He was outstanding, he scored a goal, created opportunities for others and was very, very good.

“So between now and the end of the season it’s important that focus is there and I’m sure it
will be.”

Rodgers could go with Dembele and Edouard up top together again at Kilmarnock today as his 3-4-3 formation has room for more attacking options, even if the manager has a lengthy injury list that includes Griffiths, Patrick Roberts, Stuart Armstrong, Tom Rogic, Mikael Lustig and Jonny Hayes.

New recruit Jack Hendry could also come in but it’s Charly Musonda who Hoops fans want to see.

The borrowed Chelsea ace has bounded into Parkhead and Rodgers admitted the playmaker has given everyone at the club a boost.

He said: “There’s been a different feel the last couple of days, the real slog of games over the course of the December period but I think now you feel that energy.

“You sense when you bring in good players you get the lift.

“With Charly, obviously you sense the changing room and everything about training, the lift it gave the supporters when he comes on.

“Then you bring in a couple more players today so it’s really vibrant.”



Charly Musonda has been warmly received by Celtic fans (Image: SNS)

Musonda was the big-name signing of the window and Rodgers declared himself content with his January dealings.

It wasn’t quite the revolving door he predicted but there were still enough comings and goings to leave the manager satisfied.

Marvin Compper and Scott Bain were also added, with Lewis Morgan on the way in the summer, while Liam Henderson joined Bari with Erik Sviatchenko and Kundai Benyu going out on loan.

Rodgers said: “ It was a busy day on Wednesday for various reasons but we’ve had a great window. I must say a big thank you to Dermot Desmond, Peter Lawwell and the board for sanctioning everything we wanted to do.

“Looking at it as a whole, the picture has painted itself perfectly in relation to some of the guys going out as well.”​
 

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