Callum McGregor says Celtic cup hero Odsonne Edouard is £9m ‘bargain’

Callum McGregor has described Odsonne Edouard as a “£9 million bargain” after the Celtic striker struck twice to secure another trophy for Celtic and complete a treble treble.

Callum McGregor says the Celtic players celebrated after reading about Neil Lennon's job offer on social media. Picture: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Edouard was brought from Paris Saint Germain initially
on loan before his transfer was made permanent by previous manager Brendan Rodgers for a Scottish record fee. He has proved himself to be a big-game player and his double against Hearts took him on to 23 goals for the season.

He has firmly established himself in the affections of the Celtic fans following Moussa Dembele’s departure at the start of this season.

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“Odsonne went through on goal with ten minutes to go at 1-1 and he gave the keeper the eyes,” said McGregor. “It just shows his calmness and quality and we’ve seen it so often in big games that he can decide the match when he wants.

“He’s a special talent and we’re glad to have him. He never gets angry or upset – Broonie keeps him fairly happy! He’s a good guy who works hard every day and has a good attitude which helps in terms of what this group is trying to achieve.

“You add these bits of quality and the foreign boys have that wee touch, that wee bit of something special, to decide games for you.

“We’ve got an amazing dressing room with a wee bit of everything and it comes together on the big stage. When you look at what strikers go for these days – 70, 80 and £90 million – to get someone like that to consistently score goals in big games and decide trophies for your club then it’s probably a 
£9 million bargain in terms of his return.

“Some people might have been surprised at the price tag but he’s proved his worth, especially this season. He had some big goals last season and Moussa Dembele left in the summer and he’s picked up the mantle. For 90 per cent of the season we’ve played 
with one striker and he’s had to carry the burden of scoring goals and being the main man and he’s done that incredibly well. It’s testament to his character, work rate and fitness to play so many games and affect so many big games. We’re glad to have him.”

McGregor also hailed the decision to appoint Neil Lennon permanent manager – news which was released shortly after Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Hearts at Hampden. The announcement topped off a season that had proved tougher than most might appreciate.

“There was relief when the final whistle went on Saturday,” he said. “Everyone has been desperate for us to fail and in our dressing room we know that. But we’ve stuck together, the manager changed, Neil Lennon came in and re-stabilised things. 
We knew exactly what we had to do and we’ve another treble.

“I’ve kicked on massively
in the last three years and the number of appearances probably shows how much of a part of it I’ve been.

“I’m really proud to be part of such a big day in the club’s history. The boys deserve it, the fans deserve it, everyone deserves and, most importantly, the gaffer deserves it for doing such a great job when Brendan Rodgers left.

“He [Lennon] came in with massive shoes to fill and he’s done it. We just heard the news he’d been offered the job after the game. We put the cup down, read it [on social media] and then put the cup back up again!”

McGregor has already played 67 games this season and is set to play two more when Scotland take on Cyprus and Belgium next month. He bruised his foot against Hearts but is keen to finish off the season on another high under new Scotland manager Steve Clarke.

“I’ve got a few days in Dubai to get a rest on the beach and then I’ll be good to go,” he said. “It’s an exciting appointment and we’ll be desperate to get something out of this group. We’ll meet the new manager next week and hopefully we’ll have a successful period together.”