Chris Sutton and John Hartson share top spot as Celtic’s most expensive signing, the duo both arrived for £6million, but since the latter’s arrival in 2001 the Hoops haven’t spent over £5million in a single transaction
Olivier Ntcham is club’s biggest signing this decade as Celtic parted with £4.5million to ensure he swapped Manchester for Glasgow last summer.
Without a bumper television deal to boost the coffers, the Bhoys have to be frugal in the transfer market. However, Neymar’s world record move to Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona last summer moved the goal posts. Transfer fees have spiralled to record highs and are unlikely to dwindle any time soon.
Édouard, on paper, might not seem like the sort of player worth breaking a transfer record for, but when the Neymar inflation is taken into account, it’s not too dissimilar to paying just over £4milion to sign Ntchman.
If Celtic were to look at the deal in that sense, the Frenchman could be a shrewd long-term investment.
Édouard is averaging 0.7 goals and assists per 90 minutes in the league. He’s involved in a goal every 128 minutes, and this a player who hasn’t been much more than a rotation option for Brendan Rodgers this term. It’s not a bad return.
If that form is extrapolated over a 38 game season the 20-year-old finishes with 23 goals and, if rounded up, four assists. In a recent feature on the Football Whispers website, we analysed the Celtic forwards and while Moussa Dembélé came out on top, it was clear Édouard was one to watch.
He might not be in the same league as his team-mate but he has a talent which separates him from the majority of Scottish Premiership players. He’s a reliable goal threat and knows how to put the ball into the back of the net. That’s priceless.
When he netted the winner in the Glasgow derby, he etched his name into Celtic folklore. And there’s a lot of evidence to support the Hoops going big on the France under-19 international.
The Celtic boss recently revealed the club will assess the situation at the end of the season: “We have to respect he’s a Paris Saint-Germain player, not a Celtic player. The clause is there [in the deal] and there’s been an agreement – but we would need to trigger the fee.
“There’s a lot to do in terms of the bigger picture too. In time we’ll see. He’s a fantastic player and we’ll see between now and the end of the season.
“But he’s settled in well and if we have any chance to do something at the end of the season then we can look at that.”
Rodgers has complimented the 20-year-old in the media at times this season: “Because his representatives aren’t running about throwing him to every club under the sun it doesn’t mean he’s not a top player. There’s no propaganda around him, but he’s a top talent.”
Celtic have shown they can be shrewd in the transfer market, and recent links to highly rated Lovro Majer prove they’re making moves behind the scenes which benefit the club in the long-term.
But they might have to go big on Édouard to secure their attacking future. Yet at £7million he’s more than worth it.