Noel Whelan claims Odsonne Edouard will be a big doubt for Celtic against Rangers after being forced to self-isolate over the international break.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Aberdeen and Leeds United striker insists the 22-year-old will have lost a lot of match fitness after missing training with both club and country.
UPDATE: Despite France's quarantine rules of 7 days, Celtic's Odsonne Edouard will self-isolate in France for ten days.
He will be able to return to Scotland on 16th October.
The 22-year-old obviously becomes a major doubt for the Old Firm game a day later. https://t.co/bPzgXkqTxp
— Ronnie Charters (@STVRonnie) October 7, 2020
Celtic are set to play host to Rangers a day later at Parkhead in the first Old Firm of the season.
Whelan admits he thinks it will be a struggle for the French forward to be fully fit and firing and that it is a “big shame” that one of the Hoops’ top players could be missing.
Asked if he thought Edouard would be ready for the first Old Firm of the season, Whelan told Football Insider: “Well, not really. When you miss two weeks of actual training and match fitness out on the field, you lose that little bit of sharpness and fitness.
“I’m sure he’ll be doing certain work at home by himself but it’s not the same as being out there on the training ground and working hard with your manager and teammates.
“It’s the first Old Firm of the season, it’s so tight there at the top between the two of them, both in good form, you want to see your best players out there playing in that game.
We can confirm that Odsonne Edouard has tested positive for COVID-19 while on international duty with France U21.
As it stands, no other #CelticFC player has returned a positive test.
Our thorough testing programme will continue and we will continue to follow all protocols. pic.twitter.com/JLJroRa7wY
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) October 6, 2020
“It’s such a shame, I can’t see Edouard being match fit. He’ll be fit, but he won’t be match fit. You lose fitness when you miss two, days when you’re not training. To not be training with the lads, it’s a big shame.”
Edouard has scored six goals in 10 appearances for Celtic this season, although he has struck just once in his last six league outings.
In other Celtic news, Alex McLeish has been left wowed by an “amazing” Hoops star who has been “invisible”.