Alex McLeish suggests that Odsonne Edouard may have had his sights set on a move away after his recent dip in form at Celtic.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Scotland manager believes the 22-year-old is toiling mentally, rather than physically after Neil Lennon confessed he had not been his usual self.
The Hoops boss revealed to the Daily Record last weekend that the French striker told him that he was “struggling” to make the starting XI against Livingston.
As quoted by the Scottish Sun after the 1-0 win over Riga, the Northern Irish boss then admitted that the 22-year-old was “off the pace” but that he was not injured in any way.
McLeish believes the French striker may have suffered a dip in confidence after a lot of speculation surrounding a potential transfer and suggests Lennon will have to use his man-management skills to get him focused and firing again.
McLeish told Football Insider: “I read those comments from Neil, he’s the man who’s there, he’s the one who works with him every day so he’s the one who’s qualified to inform us of how the player is performing or reacting.
“Maybe he was high as a kite when he was linked to everybody on their dog and then all of a sudden, maybe an impending move that he thought, Lennon said that if half of them want to go then they can go.
“Edouard may have taken that literally and possibly from being on a high, getting the hat-tricks and stuff to then his game has receded a little bit, then you have to think that’s more in terms of his confidence and mental side.
“He has to kind of find that kind of form that attracted the attention at the beginning of the season, a little bit like Alfredo Morelos. You can see little traits of that his performance has gone down a little bit.
“Lennon will be having to work the oracle in terms of his management to get the guy back up to speed.”