Back in February, The Mail reported that Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard was on a shortlist of players who Manchester United would consider signing this summer.
In early July we noted how Edouard could be the perfect striker solution for United.
He is just 22, scored 27 goals last season while providing 19 assists, and has been rested up between March and August. He has a freshness United could use in attack next season.
The Scottish season has recently begun, and Edouard has four goals already in three matches.
One of these goals came in a Champions League qualifier on Tuesday night as Celtic beat KR Reykjavik. It was an impressive individual goal.
The Times reports Edouard is valued at £30 million, which is £5 million more than Celtic’s record sale and £11 million more than they received for Moussa Dembele.
He has more recently been touted as worth £40 million with Leicester showing interest, The Mail report. Even at this price, it could be a smart move, when you consider that Lyon’s Dembele is now valued even higher than that.
Any move is a gamble
Any move Manchester United make is a gamble. The knock against Edouard is that he plays in the Scottish league.
Yet one mistake clubs have made in recent seasons is to turn up their nose to Celtic’s top talent.
Virgil van Dijk and Moussa Dembele left for a combined £30 million, before one of the Premier League’s bigger sides paid up for Kieran Tierney last summer at £25 million.
Even at £40 million, Edouard would provide good value for United, providing this fits around other transfer moves at other positions. It’s unclear how much of a priority striker is this summer in the club’s thoughts.
The argument for a new striker is that Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford need more support.
It is important United can take the pressure off them next season with a dynamic fourth option.
Odion Ighalo’s loan deal expires in January, and against Sevilla, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer showed that when it counted, he did not believe in the Nigerian, only bringing him on in the 92nd minute.
So United do need to sign an alternative striker who Solskjaer feels able to roll the dice on. There is an argument Edouard should be that man.
His record of 11 goals in six games for France at under-21 level is a sign of a talented striker.
One to watch
The Champions League group stage draw is on October 1 with a delayed start to the tournament this year. This effectively removes the worry of Edouard being cup-tied before the deadline, if Celtic even qualify for the groups.
United have until then to make a move, and other Premier League clubs will be weighing it up too.
There may be a cheaper option available, like the underwhelming possibility United move for Josh King, a reported January target [Sky].
We would much rather United target a younger player with higher potential like Edouard, who is a natural goalscorer with a lot to still prove. His goal last night demonstrated what a good player he is.
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