CELTIC legend John ‘Yogi’ Hughes has been reflecting and looking forward in CQN this week as he encourages the Hoops not to miss the opportunity of making history.
The former fans’ favourite, seventh-highest goalscorer in the side’s history with 189 strikes, echoes the feelings of everyone with an association with the club when he implores Odsonne Edouard to remain at Parkhead.
As anticipated, the French forward is at the centre of intense transfer speculation with a posse of clubs reportedly said to be ready to splash the cash for the 22-year-old frontman.
In another CQN EXCLUSIVE, Hughes said: “Odsonne has become a talisman at the club and there is little doubt he has a presence on the park.
“There may have been a few who doubted his quality when he first arrived on loan from Paris Saint-Germain three years ago.
“The problem, I believe, was the constant comparison with his compatriot Moussa Dembele. That was unfair for one rather obvious reason – they are two entirely different types of players.
“Moussa was more of a physical threat and was more direct. Odsonne is a big lad, but he likes to work with the ball at his feet.
“Like myself, he doesn’t score too many goals with his head. Clearly, that’s not his game. Although I was 6ft-plus, I quickly realised that heading the ball was all about timing. The height helped, of course, but it was all about making your leap at the right time.
“I wanted to work on my heading ability and went back to Celtic Park for afternoon sessions. Remarkably, Jock Stein told me not to bother, he was happy enough with the way I was playing and I should concentrate on my strengths.
“I suppose the manager was happy that we were score barrowloads of goals in practically every game with guys such as Bobby Lennox, Stevie Chalmers, Joe McBride and Willie Wallace around. And we had big-hitters, too, in midfield man Bobby Murdoch and left-back Tommy Gemmell.
“I hope Odsonne stays, until the end of this season, at least.
“Remember, he still has two years to run on his current contract, so Celtic could enforce that. However, no-one wants an unhappy player.
“Don’t get me wrong, please, I am not even inferring Odsonne is that type of personality. In fact, he has said often enough he is happy at Celtic – and I would love it to stay that way.
“For another year, at the very least.
“I see figures of £30million being quoted for the big guy. To my mind, the bidding should start at £40million. That’s how highly I rate Odsonne Edouard.”
* TOMORROW: Big Yogi continues his look at Celtic 2020/21.