In there very early hours of this morning, Leeds United were linked to a shock interest in free-scoring Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard by the Mirror. That was something written about here on The72 at the time.
It was definitely ‘shock’ interest and comes on the back of Leeds United’s 3-1 win at Blackburn, a result that nudged them closer to the Premier League. It also is interest that comes about with Leeds United needing an out-and-out striker in the side, what with concerns that Patrick Bamford might struggle with the step up to the Premier League on a week-in, week-out basis.
Leeds did have designs on another Frenchman, Jean-Kevin Augustin but that looks as if it will end in the courts rather than with a permanent deal. Augustin is back in Leipzig and the Whites are having to make do with Bamford and Tyler Roberts as the season-end draws closer.
Who is Odsonne Edouard?
Edouard is a 22-year-old Frenchman on the up in terms of French football. He’s represented France at youth levels from Under-17 to Under-21. He has 39 youth caps to his name and has scored 34 youth goals for France; six of those games and 11 of those goals have come at Under-21 level.
He came up through the Academie Football Bobigny until Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain snapped him up in 2011. He didn’t make much of a dent at PSG and, after a loan spell at Toulouse and Celtic he finally signed for the SPL champions in 2018.
Since arriving at the SPL’s top side, the 22-year-old has made 126 appearances, scoring 60 goals and providing 31 assists. That total includes a standout campaign for Celtic in their last campaign where his 21 SPL goals and 12 assists helped them win their 9th title in a row.
What could Leeds United expect from Odsonne Edouard?
The above Smartmap from Edouard’s 2019/20 Europa League campaign gives some indication of the type of player that he is. He is busy in the opponent’s half of the field, dropping back in play and playing mainly short passes (blue) in various areas of the pitch. He then works his way forward with the bulk of his shots (grey) taken inside the penalty area – mainly central to the goal.
The following data comes from WhoScored and Edouard’s 2019/20 Europa League campaign for Celtic. It has been adjusted to a ‘per 90 min’ basis to give an indication of typical output across a typical game.
- shots: 3.3 (2.7 penalty area)
- goals: 0.5
- dribbles: 3.7 (1.5 successful)
- passes 18.4 (12.3 successful)
- key passes (creating chances): 1.3
- aerial: 7.4 (won 1.7)
Using Smarterscouts metrics and statistics (account needed), his Europa League performance showed he had a 66% involvement in moves that ended in a Celtic goal and 44% involvement in moves ending in a Celtic shot.
A View from The72 – should Leeds go for it
Once, Leeds United striker Jermaine Beckford was asked about transfer rumours linking him with a move away from Elland Road. Face flushed with incredulity, he asked ‘What shirt am I wearing, bruv?’
That same incredulity would be displayed regarding whether Leeds United should make a move for Odsonne Edouard if they made it to the Premier League. Of course, they should make a move.
He is a striker who likes the ball at his feet and one who gets into the area and scores with frightening regularity. You can make all the arguments that you want about the level of competition in the SPL but a striker with the knack of scoring is like a heavyweight boxer with a true KO punch. Put any opposition in front of them and if they land, it is game over.
Edouard could be that striker with a heavyweight punch that Leeds United and their fans have been looking for.
Pure gold striker.
Look at other options.