Operation Ten-in-a-Row can keep Odsonne Edouard at Celtic says Neil Lennon

NEIL LENNON has moved onto when rather than if Odsonne Edouard leaves Celtic on a big money transfer. It’s fair to say that French Eddie, who is doing rather well in The Celtic Star’s Player of the Year awards – voting opened a few days ago and so far over 5600 of you have cast your vote – let’s get that up to 10,000 and we’ll announce the winner. You can vote below if you haven’t already done so – it’s just one vote each folks!


The Celtic Star Player of the Year 2020 - Please Vote Now!

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Back to Lenny, and his thoughts are certainly turning away from the old news of last season and on towards making Celtic as strong as possible for the Ten in a Row campaign. Myself and my boy are renewing our season tickets tomorrow – we agreed to do it on 1 June. We might have to watch a few home games on Celtic TV but supporters will be back either in the autumn or maybe even at the start of next year. Hopefully it’s the earlier option and that perhaps is looking the more likely one at the moment.

The second half of 2021 looks like being pretty special. If the SPFL pus back the Glasgow Derbies to the second half of the season then we’ll have four of them – two obviously at Celtic Park on the season ticket.

Then there’s the Scottish Cup to be played and the SFA will do this as soon as fans are allowed to attend the two outstanding semi-finals and the Final. If Celtic beat Aberdeen in our semi-final then it’s a chance to belatedly complete the quadruple treble – who would have imagined that.

And if we can do four then why not five? Another League Cup and a second Scottish Cup Final in a few months could be achieved, so we could be rather frequent visitors to Hampden next season – and remember that the HCTS means that season ticket holders on that scheme are the ones getting the ‘gold-dust’.

Oh, almost forgot, there’s the not insignificant matter of winning the league and securing Ten-in-a Row.

However none of the above is the main reason we’re renewing. We’re doing so because this season more than at any time since the death throws of the old board, Celtic needs us to step up and renew our season tickets, if it’s financially possible to do so. I hear that the uptake on fans asking for refunds has been something of a trickle, few are rushing to deny Celtic that money which will be used to fund Ten-in-a-Row.

“It is inevitable there will be speculation surrounding Odsonne because of the player and talent he is,” the Celtic manager said, as reported by Scottish Sun.

“He hasn’t said anything to me about wanting to go. Whether that changes over the next while, we don’t know. But we have him on a really good contract and we are in a strong position to rebuff any interest in him.

“We don’t want to sell him. We are happy with him and he seems quite happy here. We are going for Ten-in-a-Row and that might be a big motivating factor for him to stay.”

With Calvin Miller, Jonny Hayes and Jozo Simunovic all leaving the club this week, the decks are being cleared for   what could be an interesting summer in the transfer market.  The Celtic management team have been busy video ‘scouting’ over 240 players during the lockdown.

“We don’t know what the market value is going to be for all players and we won’t know until leagues are finished and we get an idea how long the window will be. But I am in regular contact with Nick Hammond and he has staff working 24-7 on looking at players.

“It is difficult as there are no games and you can’t go and see players live. We have an extensive list on each position and where we can improve. I am happy with the core of the squad and I don’t think we need to make any radical changes to the squad.

“Our big assets are on long-term contracts and with the motivation of the ten that might be a big selling point to bring people in. We don’t know what the landscape is going to be like in terms of the transfer market or how long it will be open for or what clubs will have to spend.

“We are taking it day by day right now. Everyone will start from the same position but there are always deals to be done. Every club in Europe will be impacted by this one way or another. We will have to cut our cloth accordingly and see what is out there. There might be good value for money, or free transfers or loans.

“If we can get Mohamed Elyounoussi and Fraser Forster back that wouldn’t take too much integration. Boys like Jullien, Taylor and Frimpong have had a season here now as well.”

And Lenny points to the return to goalscoring form from his Number 9, Leigh Griffiths, who grabbed a hat-trick in that last game against St Mirren back in early March. “Leigh has been good and on the Monday it was announced we had won the league he was straight on to me, saying he can’t wait to be back next season.

“He’s in a good place mentally and physically and he’s been doing all his work and extra with the fitness coach. The season was curtailed when he was coming into form — but he should hold on to that and use it as motivation.

“He knows he has come back and can compete at the highest level and score goals and make a difference for us. And that was a real shot in the arm for him.

“The second half of the season was very good. There were a few games he could have done better in, but we were okay with that. And you can’t argue with his talent. He’s got that knack of scoring goals which is a natural talent.

“We were patient with him and you could see the more the season went on, the stronger and more confident he was getting. Hopefully we can get him back in June and get him up to speed and he’ll be an asset for us going forward. He’s at his peak now and he’s got three or four years at the highest level still to come.”

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

Comments are closed.