WE have stayed away from the speculation this week that Chelsea are unhappy that Charly Musonda isn’t getting enough game-time at Celtic, that Brendan Rodgers has somehow gone back on his word and that this effectively rules him out of the running for the Chelsea job.
Most if not all of this was the click bait nonsense that is designed to draw in football supporters and in this case have Celtic and Chelsea fans taking opposing sides of an argument that has been manufactured for that exact purpose.
Let’s be clear Charly Musonda is highly rated by Brendan Rodgers and he targeted the player for a considerable period of time before succeeding in securing an 18 month loan deal in January.
Charlie was given some game-time at the start of his loan spell but in the main made a low key contribution other than his stunning assist for the Europa League goal scored by Callum McGregor against Zenit.
Last summer Odsonne Edouard arrived on a year long loan deal from Paris St Germain with Celtic having an option to buy at the end of the season.
The price quoted by those not in the know was £7m and that price stuck. In fact it is closer to £4.5m. After coming on as a substitute in the 1-1 draw at Motherwell at the end of November – the night Celtic’s other loan Bhoy Paddy Roberts picked up the injury that effectively wasted his season – I said to the boys standing next to me that there was no way that Peter Lawwell would be paying £7m for Edouard.
His first touch had deserted him that night – he then played against the same team that weekend at Celtic Park and bagged a hat-trick.
Of course I was right to think that Peter Lawwell won’t be paying £7m for Odsonne Edouard. He’s in the process of agreeing a permanent deal with PSG for £4.5m with a 10% sell-on clause included in the deal.
That’s a great piece of business for the 20 year striker is now established as a Hans Skelper.
Rodgers has successfully transformed Edouard from a 19 year old raw talent into an accomplished striker in a season. Chelsea should sit back and marvel at that and believe he can do the same with Charly Musonda.
They should also appreciate, from their point of view and with the standard English view of Scottish football, that if Musonda can’t break into the Celtic team what chance does he have at Stamford Bridge?
And the conclusion that they may come to is that if there is a first team Chelsea player hiding in there then the best man to find him is Brendan Rodgers. The Celtic manager was asked about the click bait speculation yesterday so had to respond to the suggestion that Chelsea may re-call the player in the summer due to the lack of game time he has had at Celtic.
“They may well do,” Brendan said. “There is an agreement in place which is fairly relaxed.
“He’s probably not played as much as he would have liked, but there are obviously reasons for that. I’ll always bring players to develop them and, in the main, it’s normally what happens when they are in my environment.
“At times, there are things off the pitch that people won’t understand. It’s difficult for players when they move to different cities and areas. Everything can be tough.
“I think if you’d seen Charly last week when we won, he was happy.
“I haven’t heard anything, but every club when they send a player out understand that the player goes to play as many games as they can.
“If you look at ourselves, it’s been difficult for Charly, but equally, it’s been difficult for Patrick Roberts since he’s been out, young Odsonne Edouard has come in from PSG. Gradually, they work themselves through.
“I have Mark Hill on loan at St Mirren. He’s hardly kicked a ball, but I understand.
“I’m pretty relaxed as a manager. I send them to the club where I think they can develop and improve.
‘I sent Ryan Christie to Aberdeen and he’s done great, earned his right to play.
“Mark has gone to a team that was winning. He hasn’t played as much, but he will have learned. That’s how management works.”
Rodgers also admitted that the deal to bring Edouard to Celtic on a permanent contract is progressing nicely.
“There have been good conversations, so that’s something we’d like to do,” was all he was saying for now. Expect official news on this in the next week or so.
Hopefully signing Paddy Roberts will also be high on the priority list as Rodgers looks to strengthening Celtic for next season – see HERE.
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