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'I'm sure France are monitoring him closely' - Lennon backs Celtic striker Edouard for international call

02:16 EAT 08/02/2020
Odsonne Edouard Celtic Europa League
The 22-year-old deserves consideration for full international honours, according to the Hoops' boss

Celtic manager Neil Lennon believes the form of striker Odsonne Edouard makes him a candidate to play for France at Euro 2020.

Les Bleus may be world champions and have a wealth of forward options such as Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud at their disposal, not to mention the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Karim Benzema, who do not get a look in to Didier Deschamps’ side, but Lennon feels that the 22-year-old is playing as well as anyone currently.

Edouard has scored 24 goals for Celtic already this season, including a midweek double against Motherwell at Fir Park, while the Northern Irishman also cited his electric form for the France Under-21 side, with whom he has scored 11 in six outings.

“It would be a huge shot in the arm for him. A huge boost. Confidence always does a player the world of good. I’m sure they are monitoring him very closely,” he said ahead of a Sunday Scottish Cup tie with Clyde.

“His record with the French Under-21s is excellent. But they are the World Cup winners and have such strength in depth, so I don’t know.

“He’s scored in Old Firm games, cup finals and Europe. He’s done all of it. The form he is in is really helping the team. But his record in the big games is outstanding.”

Meanwhile, he backed the forward to succeed with “no problem” at the highest level in Europe.

“It’s inevitable he will attract interest,” he said. “I don’t want to talk about that - I’m in a good mood!

“He could play in most top leagues and for most top teams, no problem at all. His potential is massive.

“He’s not only done it at domestic level, he’s done it at European level as well.

“A price tag? Don’t even ask me. Leave him be! Listen, we know he’s not going to be here forever but you’ll have to ask the board what their price on it is.”

Comparisons have inevitably been drawn with Moussa Dembele, who left the Hoops for Lyon in 2018 and has proven such a success in Ligue 1 that he has been linked with Manchester United and Chelsea.

“I never had the luxury or the opportunity of working with Moussa but I really liked him as a player,” Lennon said.

“He was powerful, really strong and quick, a good goalscorer. Eddie is very similar but they are different types. 

“Moussa was more of a target type, if you want to call him that, but he could go in behind as well.

“Eddie can do a bit of both, he can drop deep and play off the shoulder.

“There’s always comparisons between players but I’m just delighted with the way he is playing and I’m delighted to be able to work with him. But it would not be fair to say one is better than the other.

“They are different personalities.

“You can see by the way he is playing he is happy and his representatives are pretty happy with the way things are going.

“He’s really quiet, he doesn’t give much away. But he’s a lovely boy. He looks happy.

“He’s just in a good place and is playing brilliant football. I’m really enjoying working with him and he is very easy to manage. We have a good relationship and I just want that to continue.

“At 22, he’s only going to get better.”