Not lived up to price tag - McNamara shares why Celtic big-money signing is not the real deal

Jackie McNamara has claimed Odsonne is not an authentic centre-forward despite banging in 21 goals for Celtic this season.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the Hoops legend explained how the club’s £9million record signing is an inadequate replacement for Moussa Dembele because of his unwillingness to mix it in the penalty box.

Edouard, 21, has scored 21 goals and supplied eight assists from 51 matches in all competitions this season after his 2017-18 loan was converted into a permanent transfer last summer.

Asked by Football Insider if Edouard has lived up to his £9million price tag, McNamara said: “I don’t think he has yet. He’s young, there’s a lot of pressure on him. I watch the games and certain games – I know it’s difficult sometimes when everybody’s behind the ball and marking in – a lot of games for me he’s wanting to come off and play as a number 10 rather than play (in the centre).

“Celtic do put a lot of balls across the face (of goal) and for a number nine. It’s ideal for number nine, the amount of balls going across from
both areas, whether being [James] Forrest one side or [Scott] Sinclair or somebody else putting them in, [Kieran] Tierney, there’s opportunities there for goals, tap ins across the keeper, and he always seems to want to be outside of that to score rather than being right in there.

“Like I said, he’s young, there’s a lot of pressure on him, he’s still scored a good number of goals to be fair but you expect that from a team that’s dominant in the league.”

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

Edouard has taken on the mantle of first-choice spearhead at Celtic following Moussa Dembele’s £19million transfer to Lyon last summer and the well-publicised personal difficulties of Leigh Griffiths.

McNamara explained why Edouard is not yet fit to lace the boots of his fellow French striker.

“I think the difference between him and Dembele, he (Dembele) was very, very strong with his back to goal whereas I don’t think he (Edouard) is,” McNamara added.

“He wants to come off in little areas and try and find space to run at people, whereas I think Dembele was powerful, he was young as well but you can see him, he’s doing well at Lyon, there’s talk of him going to the big clubs in England, he had real potential.”

In other Celtic news, it can be REVEALED that the club have made an approach to sign a left-sided flyer and he wants to join.