RYAN CHRISTIE has praised “scary” Odsonne Edouard who will get his vote as Celtic’s Player of the Year.
The Scotland international playmaker didn’t hesitate when he made his nomination for the 28-goal French talisman as the Hoops launched their 2019/2020 Awards.
Edouard has led the charge in a dramatic and unprecedented campaign with the holders winning the Betfred League Cup – their TENTH successive domestic honour – at Hampden in December, rampaging 13 points clear at the top of the Premiership with only eight games to play and booking a semi-final spot against Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup which was due to take place at the national stadium on Easter Sunday.
Christie doesn’t attempt to hide his admiration of his gifted team-mate and, speaking in the Daily Record, said: “The scary thing about Odsonne is that he’s still only 22. There is so much potential to unlock yet. He will just keep getting better and better.
“From the start of the season he has been phenomenal. I’m lucky to play behind him or close to him and he’s such a good player.
TOP MAN…Odsonne Edouard gets Ryan Christie’s Player of the Year vote.
“People see his goals and performances during games and he’s been unbelievable, but training with him every day, some of the stuff that he comes out with is ridiculous.
“He would be my pick for his consistency and the big moments he has produced. I’ve noticed this season that there are elements of his game improving all the time.
“His hold-up play is getting better and that’s a big help when we are away from home and need the ball to stick.
“Odsonne has talent and his nice footwork and goals gets a lot of attention, but he also has to do the dirty work and has been very consistent in that sense.
“He has been reliable all season and his performances in Europe were excellent, too. Think back to his penalty late on in the Copenhagen game.
“It’s the last 32 of the Europa League, there was so much pressure on him to score, but he was so cool.
“To dink a penalty like that shows how much belief he has in himself and Odsonne is very, very laidback.
“He has good chat in the changing room, but he’s as chilled off the pitch as he is on it. That’s just his personality and he has this ability to turn things on whenever he wants.
“When he’s through on goal, he never panics. He’s always cool. That’s just a mindset thing from Odsonne. Even in big moments in front of goal, he is so calm.”
Surprisingly, despite his striking successes, Edouard does NOT get the nod from Christie in the Goal of the Season Award.
ROME SWEET ROME…Olivier Ntcham celebrates his stoppage-time winner against Lazio.
The midfielder reckons Olivier Ntcham’s clipped stoppage-time winner against Lazio in Rome – the Hoops’ first triumph on Italian soil in 13 attempts – is the pick of the bunch.
And he rated skipper Scott Brown’s late goal to rescue the team from dropping two points at home to Hamilton Accies at the start of December was also highly significant.
Christie remarked: “Ollie’s goal against Lazio was a brilliant moment because of how important it was and the circumstances.
“It was injury-time, it was to win the game and he was so calm and collected. To finish with a chip like that at any time would have been special.
“But to do it under that pressure against Lazio to put us into the knock-outs was amazing.
“We have scored a lot of goals and there are a few that stand out, but Broony’s last-minute winner against Hamilton shouldn’t be overlooked.
GOAL-DEN BHOY…Scott Brown shows his joy along with Ryan Christie and Callum McGregor after his late points-clincher against Hamilton Accies.
“We were all gutted when we lost the equaliser and for him to step up and score was huge.
“I felt he should have won it last season for his winner at Kilmarnock, so maybe he will get it this year because it was a big moment for us in the season.
“In that moment, Broony wasn’t the matchwinner people expected, but he always seems to come up with big goals.”
The final category for Hoops players and fans to vote on is Young Player of the Year and Christie opted for Dutch teenager Jeremie Frimpong.
He added: “There are a few contenders for Young Player, but Jeremie does stand out.
“Mikey Johnston will be there or thereabouts, but he’s had a tough time with injury. He has bags of ability and started the season well.
“He has a big future ahead of him, but Jezza has been a great addition to the squad and has made such a big impact.
“His turn of pace and ability to get down the wing and put crosses in is unbelievable. He is the perfect modern-day full-back and he was probably exactly what we needed.
IN WITH A SHOUT…Jeremie Frimpong celebrates his goal in the 2-0 win over Hibs at Parkhead in December.
“The team was doing well, but Jezza gave us that extra lift when he made his debut. He was our best player for two or three games in a row and looked like he’d been playing there for years.
“Jezza is so enthusiastic. I love him to bits. He’s so funny and genuine. His ‘Oh my days’ stuff after the Betfred Cup Final went viral, but that’s genuinely what he’s like.
“We see his personality every day and he has a massive future ahead of him in the game. Getting him from Manchester City was a brilliant piece of business as he will keep improving.”
* Fans can join Christie in placing votes by logging onto https://poty.celticfc.net/home