What Odsonne Edouard will bring to Leicester City & where he will fit in

Leicester City have pulled off some inspired transfers in recent years, but even by their own high standards, securing Odsonne Edouard for just £15m is extremely impressive business.

The striker has been tearing it up for Celtic for several seasons now and after years of rumours he finally seems set to make his Premier League move.

The Foxes already have two talented centre-forwards in Kelechi Iheanacho and Jamie Vardy, so exactly what will Edouard be bringing to the King Power Stadium?

Composure & finishing

Edouard's goal record speaks for itself. In 168 appearances for Celtic he has scored 83 times. At the peak of his powers - the 2019/2020 campaign - he averaged 0.9 goals per 90 minutes in the league and his scoring rate has never dropped below 0.7 during any of his seasons in Scotland.

Edouard's goal catalogue is pleasingly varied as well. His trademark finish is a dink over the keeper, after latching onto a through ball. He also excels at first time finishes from crosses with his head or either foot. Blasting in long range free kicks is not a problem either and he even added penalties to his game last season, converting five of the six he took for the Hoops.

What sets Edouard apart from the majority of other strikers in Scotland is his ice cool composure. He is always supremely relaxed when he shapes to shoot. Even at the start of last season when he endured a mini goal drought after being struck down by injury and then coronavirus, there was never any doubt that he would return to scoring form.


Edouard loves to pick a pass | Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Edouard may be a lethal finisher but that is far from the only dimension to his game. Throughout his time in Celtic he has proved himself an accomplished creator, laying on 37 assists in total.

The majority of the goals he has set up have come when he has dropped into a number 10 position before sliding the ball through to one of his side's wide forwards, most likely Mohamed Elyounoussi or James Forest. Attacking midfielder Ryan Christie has regularly been a beneficiary of Edouard's vision as well.

This part of his game has sometimes been underplayed with many taking one look at his goal record and pigeonholing him as a straight up number nine.

Link-up play

Edouard is a regular for France Under-21s | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Edouard is a nightmare to defend against. Accomplished at taking the ball with his back to goal, his opponents rarely wrestle it back off him thanks to his intelligent body positioning and strength.

Edouard's ability to hold the ball can form several functions for the team. As well as relieving pressure - he has been fouled well over once per game during his time at Celtic - it also allows him to bring his teammates into the game.

This has been particularly important with Edouard being used as a lone striker for almost the entirety of his career so far.

Where he could fit in at Leicester?

Brendan Rodgers showed significant tactical versatility last season. Starting off the campaign using his tried and tested lone striker system, he switched to a front two for the second half of the campaign in order to accomodate the superb Kelechi Iheanacho.

The question is, where might Edouard fit in?

Edouard has scored seven goals in 13 Old Firm derbies | Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

At first glance he might seem like a straightforward replacement for the aging Vardy. At 34, he is well past his peak and ended the season meekly, managing just one goal from open play in his final 14 Premier League games.

The similarities between Edouard and him are clear. Both are quick strikers who like to get in behind the defence and score from inside the box. What Edouard might lack is Vardy's ability to lead the press, although that could change after some time on the training ground with Rodgers again.

He could also work as part of a two. Edouard's ability to drop a few yards off the defence and create could suit him well to a partnership with Vardy, should he regain his form. An Iheanacho pairing seems less likely to work but with Leicester set for another congested season, there should be more than enough opportunities for all three players to feature regularly enough.

Source : 90min