Why the departures of Odsonne Edouard and Ryan Christie make sense for Celtic and both players

Ever since he became Celtic manager, Ange Postecoglou has maintained a stoic and philosophical stance on the potential departures of some of his squad’s highest profile players.

Ryan Christie and Odsonne Edouard have both said farewell to Celtic with their deadline day moves to Bournemouth and Crystal Palace respectively. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Ryan Christie and Odsonne Edouard have both said farewell to Celtic with their deadline day moves to Bournemouth and Crystal Palace respectively. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

As Odsonne Edouard and Ryan Christie completed their transfer deadline day moves to Crystal Palace and Bournemouth respectively, it’s an attitude Celtic supporters should find themselves able to share.

There will be understandable disappointment among many of them at the exit of Edouard and concern over how the guaranteed goals return he provided over the past four years will be replaced.

But while some have advanced the argument that the French striker should have been retained and allowed to run down the year which was remaining on his contract, in order to enhance Postecoglou’s chances of dethroning Premiership champions Rangers at his first attempt, the player’s body language has confounded that view for some time.

Norwegian defender Kris Ajer was the first high profile sale by Celtic in the summer transfer window when he made his £13.5 million move to Brentford. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

Ever since it became clear Edouard was not willing to sign a new deal with Celtic, the only sensible step for both club and player was the parting of the ways which will now see him try to make his mark in the English Premier League under his illustrious compatriot Patrick Vieira at Selhurst Park.

While Celtic are not making the same profit on the £9 million they paid Paris Saint-Germain for Edouard that they might have anticipated pre-Covid, the deal they have struck for around £14 million – potentially rising to £18.5 million with add-ons – is still more than decent business for the 23-year-old.

For reasons which are difficult to fathom, far fewer Celtic supporters will mourn Christie’s exit.

The single-minded and ambitious Highlander has never been the badge-kissing type but, like Edouard, made a significant contribution to the greatest single period of domestic dominance any Scottish club has ever enjoyed.

Christie scored 42 goals in 151 appearances for Celtic, including cup final winners in the historic quadruple-treble era. Those are outstanding numbers for an attacking midfielder who deserved better than the lack of appreciation which came his way towards the end of his time at the club.

He perhaps also deserves better than a move to the English Championship but it’s not difficult to see why he has opted for Bournemouth. They are among the favourites for promotion this season and under new manager Scott Parker are committed to a style of football which should suit Christie’s energy, technical attributes and eye for a goal.

While a possible change of heart and contract extension for Christie at Celtic had been mooted over the past few days, he has been of a similar mind to Edouard for several months in his wish to seek a fresh challenge.

The same set of circumstances applied to Kristoffer Ajer, leading to the Norwegian international defender making his £13.5m move from Celtic to English Premier League newcomers Brentford in July.

There’s no doubt that Ajer, Christie and Edouard are all players Postecoglou would have ideally preferred to stick around. But as soon as he appreciated they all saw their futures elsewhere, the pragmatic Australian was never likely to waste too much time trying to get them back on board.

They are all moves which make as much sense for Celtic as they do for the players involved.

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