ODSONNE EDOUARD is better than Moussa Demebele – that’s the stark verdict from Celtic centre-half Christopher Jullien.
The £7million French centre-half has weighed up the skills of his compatriots and reckons the Hoops frontman just edges it over his former team-mate.
Jullien admitted he had been knocked out by Edouard’s displays since his big-money arrival from Toulouse in the summer.
His nation’s Under-21 striker has claimed 11 goals in seven games after being introduced at that level this season and his opening strike in the 4-0 triumph over Livingston at the weekend was his 14th for the champions in what is shaping up to be a prolific campaign.
Jullien played against Dembele last season following his £19.8million switch from Parkhead to Ligue 1 Lyon. He acknowledged the frontmen have massively differing styles, but thinks Edouard’s overall game is superior to his fellow-countryman.
The most expensive defender in the club’s history told The Herald: “I would say Odsonne is better because I’ve only played with him. I would say Odsonne for sure.
“You all saw it before me that Moussa is a really good striker, but Odsonne is younger and his talent is really good.
“Comparing him to Moussa would be a mistake, they are definitely not the same. I played against Moussa last season, so I can say that.
“Moussa is a good striker, really powerful, and Odsonne is a different striker.”
Jullien hopes the club can ward off anticipated suitors for the 21-year-old attacker in the January transfer window and added: “There is no limit to what Odsonne can do, because his game is so complete.
“He can do everything. He’s not slow, he can run, he can dribble, he can play with his head, he can come deep and play like a number 10, and his skills are unbelievable.
“The sky is the limit for Odsonne.”
HEARTS are continuing their pursuit of Daniel Stendel and are confident of avoiding a compensation bill if they appoint the former Barnsley manager.
Discussions took place between the German coach and Tynecastle officials over the weekend as the Edinburgh club outlined their plans for a new coaching structure.
They want Craig Levein’s successor to work alongside a sporting director with both men reporting directly to owner Ann Budge.
Stendel, 45, is the latest to hold talks on the vacancy following Stuart McCall, Steve Cotterill, Alan Irvine and Neil McCann.
He was sacked as boss at Okwell last month and the Championship club have since agreed to cancel the remainder of his contract, which ran until the end of the season, according to the Edinburgh Evening News.
An agreement over a severance payment is ongoing, but he is effectively free to join a new club. Hearts believe they would not need to pay compensation were they to appoint him.
NEW Hibs boss Jack Ross will take the team to face his old side St Mirren in Paisley this evening.
Paul Heckingbottom’s replacement admits it’s a ground he probably knows better than Easter Road. It’s where he established himself as a manager and won his maiden honour.
Ross, who was sacked by English League One side Sunderland last month, told The Scotsman: “For me as a manager, St Mirren was a huge part of my learning process. It helped me get the opportunities since – to manage a club the size of Sunderland and the opportunity to manage a club the size of Hibs.
“Everything we went through there, the more difficult times and the more enjoyable times, were really important for me.
“I spoke earlier about the demands for change. I lost my first six league games at St Mirren and there wasn’t that change. So, I’ll always be grateful in terms of having that opportunity to come through that period. As a young manager, that was not easy. It could have ended my management career quite quickly, as well.”