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EDOUARD ‘DIDN’T LOOK FULLY INVESTED’ CLAIM

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ODSONNE EDOUARD “didn’t look fully invested” in Celtic’s last-gasp 2-0 victory over St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park yesterday.

That’s the verdict of Livingston midfielder Marvin Bartley, who was a game analyst for BBC Scotland’s Sportscene – and clearly not impressed by the French striker.

Edouard lasted until the hour mark before Neil Lennon took action and withdrew him and put on Patryk Klimala who contributed the second goal in stoppage-time after fellow-substitute Leigh Griffiths had headed in the breakthrough effort on the 90-minute mark.

The Hoops top scorer last season with 28 strikes has failed to hit top form in recent games. He was hooked in the matches against St Mirren – where he fluffed a penalty-kick – and FC Riga and rested for the home encounter against Livingston.

Bartley said: “He’s set such high standards and, he didn’t seem himself today, he didn’t look fully invested in actually being at Celtic.

“We see some clips here and the ball is going into him, he gets on the half-turn, first bit is so, so good and then his touch lets him down when he tries to drive forward.

“So unlike him. Again, Frimpong gets the ball down the right-hand side, he comes in to show, he’s flicking at things.

“Even his reaction to losing the ball…in the 60th minute he’s taken off and he can’t really argue. I think Celtic, obviously the window closes tomorrow, hopefully from their point of view he’s still there on Tuesday morning and he can kick on from there on in.”

Champions’ boss Neil Lennon also expressed his “disappointment” over Edouard’s lacklustre display in Perth.

The former Paris Saint-Germain prospect, who cost the Hoops a club record £9million when he joined in June 2018, has been at the centre of intense transfer speculation throughout the summer and his form of late has dipped alarmingly, possibly as a consequence.

The signing deadline is 11pm this evening and the Parkhead gaffer is determined to fight off any last-minute bids for the 22-year-old talisman – and then he hopes the player will regain his focus.

Lennon admitted in his post-match interview: “Again, I was disappointed with his performance. He needs to settle down. Hopefully, after tomorrow he will.

“I can’t speculate, but I think it’s apparent it’s been affecting him, but I can’t think for him or put words in to his mouth.

“He’s a brilliant player, but we are just not seeing the best of him at the moment.

“Hopefully, he’ll calm down once the window shuts and come good for us.

“I think he has about three or four more gears to come. ”

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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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