Brendan Rodgers believes Celtic have secured the services of one of European football’s elite young talents by completing the club record £9 million purchase of Odsonne Edouard.
The 20-year-old French striker has signed a four-year contract with the Scottish champions, where he spent last season on loan from Paris Saint-Germain.
Edouard will now rejoin Rodgers’ squad when they begin pre-season training next week ahead of their Champions League qualifying campaign next month.
“We are delighted to make such an important signing,” said the Celtic manager. “Odsonne is one of the best young players I have worked with and one of the best in Europe.
“Our fans saw exactly what he is capable of last season and we look forward to working with him again as we look to build on the tremendous success we achieved last year. I am sure he will be a big player again for us this season.”
Edouard started just 13 matches for Celtic last season, making a further 16 appearances from the substitutes’ bench, but made a significant impact as he scored 11 goals. Three of them came in two league victories against Rangers in the closing weeks of the campaign as Celtic completed back-to-back domestic trebles.
The French Guiana-born youngster had another two years left on his contract at Paris Saint-Germain but made it clear his preference this summer was for Celtic to take up their option to sign him.
“It was my number one objective to come back to the club,” Edouard told the Celtic website. “Now that I’m here, I’m going to focus on enjoying my time here, learning a lot from the coach and my team-mates and just really try to enjoy my time here at this club.
“I’ve learned a lot under the manager. He’s had a very important role in the development of my game. I owe him a lot for what he has done and the time he has given me. At the beginning, it was a bit hard here because I was adapting to a new country, a new club and new team-mates. I needed time to settle down. Once I did that I started to score and really started enjoying my time here.
“I want to play as much as I can. I want to score more goals and I also want to win more trophies and league titles. Celtic is a club which is focused in winning and this is a good environment for me to be in.”
The record fee for Edouard, eclipsing the £6 million figure Celtic paid for both Chris Sutton and John Hartson more than 15 years ago, was hailed by the club’s chief executive Peter Lawwell as evidence of their desire to build on their current dominance of
“The signing of Odsonne from Paris Saint-Germain demonstrates our absolute commitment to ensuring we give our fans a
club they can be proud of,” said Lawwell.
“After the club delivered unprecedented, historic success last year, we thank our fans sincerely for the magnificent support they have already shown to the club as we look ahead to the coming season. As ever, we will do all we can to bring our fans the success which this support deserves. We are delighted to welcome Odsonne to Celtic and we know our fans will give him their usual magnificent support.