Leicester closing in on Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard – How does he compare to Jamie Vardy?

Martin Macdonald
Leicester closing in on Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard – How does he compare to Jamie Vardy?

Celtic could be set to lose one of their prized assets this summer with the news that Leicester City are closing in on signing of Odsonne Edouard.

This week, the Daily Mail reported that the Foxes were close to agreeing a fee of around £15m for the Frenchman, is who keen to link up with former manager Brendan Rodgers in the Premier League.

Edouard is out of contract next summer, which is why Leicester believe that fee will be enough to prise him away from Celtic Park, with Arsenal and Aston Villa also reportedly interested.

Last summer, the Hoops were asking for a fee between £20m-£25m if they were to entertain an exit.

Edouard remain’s Celtic’s most important player and is their top goalscorer in the 2020/21 season – a season which has been tumultuous both on and off the pitch.

Celtic entered the current campaign going for their 10th title in a row – an unprecedented feat – but have allowed standards to drop to the point where arch rivals Rangers are now only a handful of points away from winning the league.

Former manager Neil Lennon had been under massive pressure for the majority of the season, and eventually left a couple of weeks ago by mutual consent.

Any new manager coming in will have to oversee a major squad rebuild, and within that rebuild could see the exit of Edouard.

Edouard v Vardy

One of the major reasons Leicester will be on the lookout for a new striker this summer is that Jamie Vardy recently turned 34-years-old in January, and although he is still as sprightly and vibrant as ever, the time will come when he needs to share the goalscoring burden or be replaced.

StatEdouardVardy
Starts2120
Goals1612
Assists25
Shots P904.22.8
Touches in Box P908.85.5

Vardy will go down as one of the greatest signings in Premier League history, but if Leicester have aspirations of becoming a club worthy of the Champions League, which they do, they cannot solely rely on the exploits of a veteran centre-forward.

Edouard will be brought in as a long-term replacement for Vardy, but will start his fair share of games too.

Indeed, it is not outwith the realms of possibility that Edouard and Vardy could feature in the same starting XI either in a 4-4-2 or a 4-3-3 depending on whether Rodgers thinks those formations would fit the rest of his team.

If Edouard does indeed sign for Leicester and eventually becomes their number one striker, the Foxes will likely have to alter the way they play slightly.

While the former PSG youngster holds an impressive burst of pace, it is not to the level of the lightning-quick speed of Vardy running in behind, so Leicester’s usual pounce on the break and balls sent in behind might not work as effectively with Edouard leading the line.

In the time that Rodgers has been in charge they have adapted their play already to a more possession-based system, at least compared to before when they were a counterattacking juggernaut.

With Edouard up top, they will be able to play the ball into feet a bit more which will help to introduce the likes of Harvey Barnes and James Maddison into the game from runs from deep.