It seems to have escaped much notice in these parts that the 23-year-old is only days away from representing France in a major finals. A tournament he will take part in as his country’s highest ever scorer, leading the frontline for favourites choc-full of major talents that draw admiring eyes.
Edouard’s camp have stated consistently a definitive decision is some time away on where the player will head in the summer to begin a new chapter following four years with Celtic In no small part, that will be because of the brightly-adorned shop window the forward is going to be placed in courtesy of bouncing off a fabled derby watched globally and straight into the group stages of the 2021 Under-21 European Championship finals.
Serious notes of interest in Edouard have already been registered from Arsenal, Leicester, Roma and Aston Villa. Meanwhile, only yesterday AC Milan were credited with being willing to firm up on what has proved a long-standing tracking of the 23-year-old. If Edouard delivers impressive showings in Sunday’s encounter against Rangers before helping France negotiate Group C games against Denmark, Russia and Iceland, more will join the queue for his signature.
The 21s Euro finals is a peculiar affair, predictably a consequence of the Covid-19 global pandemic. Originally to be staged in June this year across Hungary and Slovenia the group stages were brought forward to this March international window so the latter stages could be completed in the May/June window without clashing with the one-year delayed Euro 2020 finals.
UEFA’s website already lists Edouard as “one to watch” in the competition, and it isn’t difficult to appreciate the reasons for such an anointing. A record 15-goal haul has come in only 10 appearances for the French under-21s. His plundering on the international stage has produced a hat-trick and four doubles and he has only failed to score in one of his outings. It helps Edouard that he is surrounded by a cluster of figures who are not so much upcoming players on the continent but have already arrived. Into that bracket can certainly be placed such accomplished defenders as Paris-Saint Germain’s Colin Dagba, Ibrahima Konate of RB Leipzig and Leicester’s Wesley Fofana, as well as prized Bayer Leverkusen forward Moussa Diaby.
To purchase any of these, you would get little change out of £40m and need to be a club of stature. Indeed Edouard is the solitary player in a 21-strong squad oozing class not to play his club football in one of the big five leagues. That will change in the summer. And for that to happen there seems no reason why Celtic, even with the player then in the final 12 months of his contract, will not be able to command a fee far closer to £25m - 40% of which over the £10m sum the Parkhead club paid for him due PSG through a sell-on clause - than the £15m previously reported. In rich surrounds across the next two weeks, Edouard can varnish his reputation as a gilded asset.