FORMER Celtic defender Mark Wilson insists Odsonne Edouard has the potential to be even better than French compatriot Moussa Dembele.

The former striker quit the Hoops on the last day of the August 2018 deadline in a £19.8million switch to Lyon.

Wilson, now manager at Brechin City, reckons the 21-year-old, who signed a permanent deal from Paris Saint-Germain last summer after an initial loan period, is improving game by game.

The one-time Scotland international defender, speaking to the Evening Times, said: “When you are French, are playing at international level and scoring goals on all fronts, people will be sitting up and taking notice of you.

“His all-round game has come on a lot. You keep forgetting he’s such a young lad. Sometimes you hammer him as he was bought for £9million and you think he should be doing better. But he’s still just learning.

“And this season, with the way he’s started, you can tell he’s a more developed player when he gets one on one

“Now he looks like the coolest guy in the stadium. He looks like a top finisher. He’s someone Celtic need to keep fit.

ACTION MAN…Odsonne Edouard on the move against Hamilton Accies at the weekend.

“I don’t think they will be in any rush to sell him unless there was some sort of astronomical bid.

“He’s one they can keep and develop for a few years and eventually get top price for him.

“I would say Dembele when he moved on was better, but I feel Edouard has the potential to go on and be better.

“He’s strong as anything. You saw that at Ibrox where I felt he battened the two centre-halves about.”

The champions topped their Dembele transfer fee when they sold fans’ favourite Kieran Tierney to Arsenal for £25million last month.

But Wilson reckons his old team will smash that barrier if they allow Edouard to move on.

He added: “It’s just the way the market is. It’s getting more inflated every year. The fact is, Celtic bought Edouard for £9million, so they aren’t just going to take say £15million for him.

“His age comes into it. He’s on the international scene. All that counts. But I don’t think they’ll be in any rush to sell him.

“They’ll try their best to keep him and get his best younger years out of him.

“If he scores more in Europe, the valuation goes up. That’s what happened with Dembele. He scored a couple in the Champions League and then everyone was looking at him.

“That’s where you are made.”

Edouard made his France Under-21 debut during the international break and scored two goals as a second-half substitute in a 4-0 win over Albania.

He kept his place and netted another double in a 3-1 victory over the Czech Republic.

The classy attacker will go into the spotlight again on Thursday when he leads the Hoops against Rennes in their Europa League group opener in his homeland.


About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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