Chris Sutton insists there’s no way the club can consider selling Odsonne Edouard in January, even if a £50m bid came in, as the fans would go “nuclear”.
Sutton has been critical of the French youngster at times, feeling that the had much more to offer.
With Edouard bagging another double for France U21 this week, taking his tally to six in three games for his country, Sutton now believes that he is the “man for the massive occasion” and that the vultures will be circling.
Writing in his Record column, he said: “Let’s be clear. It is impossible for Celtic to even consider selling Edouard – even if they received a £50million bid.
“I’m not saying Celtic will get that kind of offer but the point is it doesn’t matter how much cash is on offer, letting Edouard go in the middle of the season is simply unthinkable.”
Sutton’s worry that Celtic are over-reliant on Edouard is shared by many. With Griffiths’ recovery still underway and Bayo’s merits uncertain, we are at a similar stage as we were last season, when Edourd had to carry the forward line on his own.
A heavy December fixture list left us without him at Ibrox, where Mikey Johnston was thrown to the lions up front.
Last year, we started the season with only two strikers. This year, we have an extra one in Bayo to call upon, but based on his fleeting appearances, it seems more likely that we’d see James Forrest or Ryan Christie trying to plug a gap than the Ivorian getting an extended run.
That’s not to write Bayo off, but his attempts at finishing have been erratic to say the least.
It’s highly unlikely that Celtic would receive the proper value for Edouard. We are already listening to talk of Dembele going for 60-80m euros and, as we’ll see with Kieran Tierney now that he’s back to fitness, £25m will turn out to be a steal.
The Celtic hierarchy have their model, though, and you have the suspicion that anything a couple of million higher than the Tierney fee will have Edouard getting run to the airport. Even with nine in a row on the line.
The former Celtic hitman thinks that would be a huge mistake. He said: “Celtic are in a title race and it’s going to heat up after the turn of the year. There cannot be any consideration about cashing in on their top asset.
“Players have been sold at questionable times over the years and there has been uproar on occasions.
“But this would out-do any of those sales. The reaction from supporters would be nuclear.”
He may well be right about that, but the problem is that those at the top are thick-skinned enough to withstand the heat. Which is one of the main reasons we’re now a Europa League club instead of a Champions League one.