Watching Odsonne Edouard last night, I tried not to feel bitter about the season we’ve had.
What we saw from him last night was the shape of what might have been.
He was excellent. His form has been improving, steadily, for weeks and last night he was back to his best.
Edouard is not going to stay at Celtic.
He has refused numerous offers for a new deal.
I don’t even think that a new manager could convince him to stay for another year.
Indeed, I think it would be better for all concerned if he moved on in the summer. I can’t be doing with another year of near-constant speculation about him, especially when I know full well that he’s not for hanging around.
Let’s move him on and give the new manager the money to craft his own team, with players who are fully committed to the cause.
In the meantime, I will enjoy watching him play and know that every time he turns it on as he did last night we improve our chances of getting the kind of mammoth fee a player of his immense talents deserves.
Edouard himself knows that the only way to get the offer he wants is to keep on doing the job.
It has been hugely disappointing seeing him look so lethargic in recent months, and not only for what it meant for our form. The frustration came from knowing Edouard is so much better than was showing us, so much better than he seemed to be giving us.
He looked more relaxed last night.
He played with total confidence and assurance again.
Part of this is that he’s been ill of course, and part of it is that he’s needed to regain his fitness again and his match sharpness, but I also think he’s been a bit down in the dumps.
He’s been over-thinking the whole issue of his next move.
Ironically, his new found form might be because that matter has been more or less put to bed and decided, because he’s got a new agent and can pretty much take it as read that he will be off to a higher profile league when this season ends.
So there’s a weight off his shoulders, and I sort of feel that there’s one off ours too.
If he looks more relaxed and content, then great.
Every goal he scores increases his value and profile.
He knows it and we know it.
The media does as well.
By the time this season ends they will no longer be talking about us accepting a lesser fee and Eddie will not have to worry about getting a lesser deal at a smaller club than he hopes for.