Neil Lennon: Odsonne Edouard Could Play in the Premier League or UCL

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2020

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 23: Odsonne Edouard of Celtic is seen during a training session at Lennoxtown Training Session on October 23, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Neil Lennon expects Odsonne Edouard to be in demand in the near future, believing Celtic's star striker is good enough to also thrive in the Premier League and UEFA Champions League. 

Hoops boss Lennon made the statement when asked about Edouard's future, per Andy Burke of BBC Scotland:

"He could play in the Premier League and Champions League, no question, with the form he is in. At 22, he has it all in front of him. I just hope he keeps getting better and better with us. I don't know (if we can keep him). We have had no enquiries for him but I am sure somewhere down the line for someone of that quality there will be."

Lennon's confidence about Edouard's ability to make the grade in England's top flight comes at a time when Premier League heavyweights are being told to sign the Frenchman.

Former Celtic players, including Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas, have said Edouard would be a hit if he moves on, per Uche Amako of the Daily Express: "Odsonne Edouard is good enough to go and play at a Chelsea or a Manchester United."

Nicholas, who played for the Hoops during two spells between 1979 and 1995, compared Edouard's rise to that of Moussa Dembele. The latter moved to Glasgow from Fulham in 2016 and parlayed a pair of excellent campaigns into a transfer to Lyon in 2018.

Dembele has been linked to Chelsea and Manchester United, per L'Equipe (h/t Robbie Copeland of the Daily Record). The French publication has noted how the Blues are in pole position, with Celtic entitled to 10 percent of any transfer fee.

BBC Sport Scotland @BBCSportScot

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A potential windfall on Dembele could tempt Celtic to cash in on another young and gifted French attacker. Edouard was on loan with the Hoops during the 2017/18 season and secured a permanent switch from Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the campaign.

The 22-year-old has exceeded his countryman with superb production in front of goal. Edouard has helped himself to 23 goals in all competitions, putting together a consistent run during the early stages of this calendar year:

Scouted Football @ScoutedFtbl

Odsonne Édouard since the winter break: ⭕ vs Partick Thistle ⚽ vs Kilmarnock ⚽⚽ vs Ross County ⭕ vs St. Johnstone ⚽⚽🅰️ vs Hamilton Academical ⚽⚽ vs Motherwell A goal contribution every 58 minutes. https://t.co/kAGonku34a

Those performances are boosting Edouard's standing and value on the market. Aside from Nicholas, another former Celtic striker, Chris Sutton, compared Edouard to club legend Henrik Larsson during an appearance on BT Sport (h/t Aidan Scott of The Scottish Sun).

Sutton also said Edouard could fetch a fee of £40 million, per the Daily Record's Craig Swan. Meanwhile, Nathan Salt of MailOnline named Edouard as a potential summer replacement for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Alexandre Lacazette, should either leave Arsenal, while also noting how Leicester City are keen on Celtic's main man.

Foxes manager Brendan Rodgers briefly worked with Edouard at Celtic Park and likely understands how far he could go.

Edouard's career ascent could also see him became a regular for France's senior side. He would offer more pace than Olivier Giroud and greater versatility than Wissam Ben Yedder.

Goal @goal

Is Celtic's Odsonne Edouard good enough to play for France? Celtic 2019-20 👕 37 ⚽ 23 France U21 👕 6 ⚽ 11 https://t.co/ZODiqX3CdN

Giroud is being overlooked at Chelsea, despite the Blues' lack of consistency at the position. Tammy Abraham has promise, but Michy Batshuayi appears to be on borrowed time.

As for United, the Red Devils know they need help up top to offer more support to Marcus Rashford. The club secured a six-month loan for Odion Ighalo during the winter window, but Edouard would represent the future.

There is no denying Edouard's natural talent, and his speed, strength and ability to play anywhere up top will keep him firmly on the radar of clubs inside the Premier League and beyond.