Odsonne Edouard is having one of those special spells which give a footballer a whole career.
Goals in important games. Match winners. Cup winners.
His promotion to the French Under 21 team came as no surprise. Nor did the goals he scored on his debut for them.
Some at Celtic, amongst the support and doubtless at the club, are already holding up the white flag.
We’ll lose him, perhaps as early as January.
Why not just accept it? Why not start, indeed, to prepare for life without him?
Where is the intent here? Where is the ambition?
We have become a “selling club.”
It’s a stupid phrase, in fact, because every club in Europe and world football does eventually sell footballers, but in our case it’s undisputedly true.
We don’t even try to retain top talent anymore and the board ever hides behind the “necessity” of the club’s notorious and seriously limiting wage cap.
The wage cap holds us back. We should have less players, being paid more.
We should be able to make a guy like Eddie an offer that keeps him here beyond a mere handful of years.
We should have been able to make Tierney a more life changing offer.
The old argument that is put forward in support of the wage cap is that if you pay someone thirty grand a week a bunch of other players will come “hammering on the manager’s door.”
I always thought it was a ridiculous idea.
Players are paid what they are worth.
A guy like Edouard is worth more than a Lewis Morgan; that’s the reality of football.
The best players will get the top salaries; that does not change the dynamic in a dressing room. It works at every other club in Europe. That we cling to the fantasy that this helps the club is one of the chief failings of “the strategy” and limits our ability to hang onto these guys.
Yes, there are some players who will be determined to move and who will not stay no matter what enhancements or wage rises we offer. Some get it though. Some will want to be here as long as we have the ambition to hold onto them.
There’s no way of knowing which of these Odsonne Edouard is until we make him the kind of offer that asks the question.
In this case it’s a question that has to be asked.
Edouard is the best striker we’ve had since the King of Kings.
I absolutely believe that. He is the most complete player at the club, and he’s still only 20.
The boy is going to be a phenomenal footballer and the longer we keep him here the more we’ll see him improve until he does outgrow this league.
Of course he’ll go, eventually, but we should be aiming to keep him here until ten and then beyond.
We shouldn’t be – we must not be – rolling over and accepting that the guy will go sooner than we’d like. We have sold too many top players in recent years, after a short period when we actually looked like we were trying to build something.
Eventually, you reach the point where you draw the line.
This has to be it. Edouard is where we say “no more.”
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