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Our view: Odsonne Edouard is fulfilling his destiny as Celtic's Moussa Dembele replacement

Odsonne Edouard of Celtic shoots and misses during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on September 01, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

The Celtic striker's incredible form continued for the French U21s side on Monday.

Odsonne Edouard of Celtic shoots and misses during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on September 01, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

When Odsonne Edouard arrived on loan at Celtic, and then signed permanently, it was understood he was the club's long-term Moussa Dembele replacement.

However, it was yet to be proved.

It was clear the young Frenchman was a real talent even during his early days at the Hoops, even though he was still raw and inconsistent.

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He was thrusted into the limelight a little earlier than expected after Dembele forced through his move to Lyon on the final day of the 2018 summer transfer window.

Becoming the club's number one striker took a bit of getting used to and by the time January rolled around last season, Brendan Rodgers felt the need to strengthen the striking position and hand opportunities to Oliver Burke.

Since Neil Lennon's arrival though, the Frenchman has been nothing short of spectacular in a Celtic shirt.

Thanks to last minute goals that helped secure another league title to a dominating performance in the Scottish Cup final against Hearts, he has cemented his place as the prime pick in the Hoops attack.

This week, he took another step towards fulfilling his Dembele destiny.

 

Dembele's path

It was reported last month by The Daily Record that the Lyon man is now valued at £40m after a terrific debut season in Ligue 1.

His rise in reputation at Celtic came not just because of his form in the Scottish top-flight or in Europe, but because of his form for the French U21s side.

Dembele netted 13 goals in 23 caps for his nation at that age level, proving himself to be one of the best young strikers around.

It's likely that kind of contribution put him on the radar of cash rich Ligue 1 sides.

Signing up a future French international from the Scottish Premiership, even for a fee approaching £20m, could be considered as something of a bargain to the right buyer.

Edouard's turn

Edouard may be joining the party a little later, but like at Celtic, is beginning to tread the Dembele path at international level.

A double against the Czech Republic U21s on Monday brought his tally for France U21s to four goals, all of which have come in his last two appearances.

Earning praise from the French media in the aftermath, it's clear his reputation is on the rise.

That will come with its own challenges for Celtic, but Edouard's progress should be celebrated by Celtic fans, not feared.

Even if an exit is one day inevitable, his current form should be savoured.

France's forward Odsonne Edouard (C) celebrates after scoring a goal during the U21 friendly football match between France and Czech Republic on September 9, 2019, at the Aube Stadium in...

What's next?

Edouard is now positioned to have his finest Celtic season to date. Having netted six goals at club level already this term, he could sail past his tally of 23 in the 2018/19 season.

With the UEFA Europa League group stages also on the horizon, which includes a double header against French club Rennes, he has a massive chance to kick his career into a new gear.

A strong performance in the group that also includes Lazio and Cluj would not only likely fire the Hoops towards the knockout stages, but solidify his growing standing in the game.

After this season his future is unknown, but Celtic should reap the benefits of a red hot Frenchman while the going's good.

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