CHRIS SUTTON insists it is time for Odsonne Edouard to prove the doubters wrong – and show the quality that will again attract Europe’s big-hitters.
The French striker is in the final year of his contract and has five days left to move in this transfer window or else knuckle down and play his part in the Ange Postecoglou revolution.
That would leave Edouard, who cost a club record of £9million when he joined from Paris Saint-Germain in June 2018, almost certainly walking away for free in the summer.
Sutton reckons it’s now-or-never for the 23-year-old frontman who was a major disappointment last season and had claimed a mere four goals in open play until the turn of the year – and that included a hat-trick in the opening day of the Premiership when the champions kicked off their quest for 10 in a row with a convincing 5-1 triumph over Hamilton Accies.
His form dipped alarmingly, though, in a series of lacklustre displays and he only netted again without the aid of a penalty-kick in the 3-0 victory over Dundee United at Parkhead on December 30. His other three strikes had come from the spot. He completed the campaign with 22 goals, but it was too little too late for the team as the Hoops endured their first trophyless term in 11 years.
A year ago, the flamboyant forward was being linked with former boss Brendan Rodgers and a big-money switch to Leicester City while Arsenal were also quoted with an interest. AC Milan, too, were reported to be monitoring the situation with the former Under-21 marksman.
As the clock ticks down towards the transfer deadline, only Brighton appear to be in pole position for his signature.
Sutton believes Postecoglou has got the attacker playing with a smile on his face again although he is far from his best with only three goals, one from the penalty spot. That’s half the total amassed by Kyogo Furuhashi who only arrived at the club late last month.
The former Hoops striker said: “The manager’s getting a turn out of Odsonne Edouard, which is remarkable considering his performances last season.
“That’s going to be an interesting one, will he stay or will he go? He was going to be a big miss, anyway, but is he now more vital than ever?
“He might walk away for nothing at the end of the season, but he looks like he’s enjoying his football again.”
Sutton, speaking n the Daily Record’s Celtic Podcast, added: “It doesn’t look like there are a plethora of teams putting bids in for him.
“There are big question marks about his attitude and his desire. He’s got it all to do. He’s been brilliant in the past, but he’s lost his way.
“We know he’s a talented player – this will be the season where he has to prove that and put himself back in the shop window.
“Clubs in the Premier League and across Europe will see his performance levels go up and then they’ll say: ‘We’re having him’.
“At the moment, it seems there aren’t clubs in for him because there are a lot of doubters out there.”