Odsonne Edouard, who turned 20 in January, is at the pivotal season of his career. He scored lots of goals at youth level but was heading nowhere at PSG before Brendan Rodgers made the trip to Paris to encourage him to come to Glasgow.
His stats until that point were meagre: one goal in 16 appearances on loan at Toulouse, but Celtic scouted him thoroughly and all were convinced of his potential. After settling into life in Glasgow, he is beginning to fulfil some of that potential, Sunday’s winning goal being the clearest example.
In only two months Brendan will decide whether to spend €10m on him or let him return to PSG. For Celtic, this is a serious gamble, but I expect them to take it.
The club have money to spend right now, but being able to spend it as effectively as you would like is another story. €10m on a striker guarantees you nothing, not even a resale value. Then consider the contract a €10m striker would want. The club know well how difficult it is to sign anyone who has clearly demonstrated they are ready to take on the Champions League. To improve players at this level, we need to graduate them through the final phase of their development here.
If we are to break the €10m barrier, and I think we should, we need to be sure we can improve him and that he has the right attitude to the game. If Brendan is convinced on these questions, Celtic will exercise their option and sign him on a permanent deal. But even after a year’s trial, it is a huge gamble.