The best news of the weekend came last night, as the weekend was coming to a close.
It’s the news I’ve been waiting to hear; that the club is offering Edouard a new deal to stay beyond this campaign and the next one.
A so-called “gentleman’s agreement” will allow him depart in 2021 if that’s what he wants.
I would rather he stayed for three more years, but hey-ho.
At this moment, I just want us to get the ten across the line. If we keep this squad intact through the next campaign, then I frankly don’t see who can stop us. It also gives us another year to make progress in the evolution from this squad to the next one.
At the heart of it all is Edouard though, and even without the need to tie him down for the battles ahead, there is little doubt that this boy deserves his new deal. Since the day and hour he became our most expensive ever player, this guy has led the line brilliantly and shown that he is our best front man since the King of Kings. I thought Dembele was going to be hard to replace; this guy has stepped into his shoes with ease.
Quite who we replace Eddie with when he departs is just one of the questions that must be haunting those at the club even now. But fortunately, if we can get him on a new contract, it becomes less an imminent concern. He has two years of his contract left; extend it by a further two and we’ve got nothing to worry about.
Eddie has scored just over 60 goals since signing for us, in around 120 games; a strike ratio of one in every two.
That’s very decent. It’s not a Larsson type record, but when you consider the number of assists Eddie has too – 12 in the league over the course of his time here, and more in the League Cup, where he’s been potent – you see how valuable to the team he is.
And it’s not just that, of course; Eddie functions brilliantly as part of an attacking unit. Even when he’s not on the ball, he’s often double marked, giving others a chance to move into space. It’s why our wingers and midfielders have had such a rare old time.
It is right that the club has opened these discussions; I had hoped they’d have done it before now. That we’ve gotten around to it at last can only mean that the plans for the next campaign are already well underway. Eddie has a lot of goals to score for us yet.