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Edouard can add cutting edge to Palace attack

Adrian Clarke 4 Sep 2021
Odsonne Edouard, Crystal Palace

Adrian Clarke believes striker's finishing ability will make Eagles more dangerous going forward

Adrian Clarke analyses players who have changed clubs this summer and can make an impact in 2021/22.

Odsonne Edouard (CRY)

Edouard looks an excellent fit for the type of Crystal Palace team that their manager Patrick Vieira is moulding at Selhurst Park.

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The 23-year-old is confident, has a quality first touch and is extremely composed in possession.

His style, including the way he looks after the ball when receiving passes into his feet, should suit the Eagles, who are developing a brand of patient, passing football.

Edouard’s other key strengths are travelling with the ball, tremendous acceleration and his ability to finish, evident in the 54 goals he scored for Celtic in 94 Scottish Premier League matches.

Edouard's first Palace interview
Taking his chance

Edouard has moved from a title-challenging side who created a lot of goalscoring opportunities to a Premier League team who have mustered the fewest shots so far this term.

Across the first three matches, Vieira’s men registered just 20 attempts, with only five on target.

It will be important for the striker to adjust to that scenario and make the most of chances he gets.

He did boast a creditable 16.4 per cent conversion rate (including blocks) last term, so his finishing is unlikely to be a problem.

Edouard v CRY attack 2020/21
  Edouard Benteke Zaha Ayew
Shots* 4.2 3.51 2.07 1.12
Shots in area* 3.3 3.07 1.58 0.77
Shots on target* 2.0 1.68 0.69 0.47
Conversion rate 16.4% 14.8% 18.3% 3.9%

*per 90min

One of the most impressive aspects of Edouard’s game is his accomplished and varied finishing.

While most of his strikes for Celtic stemmed from low crosses along the face of goal, or from runs in beyond the last man, he is adaptable inside the final third.

Around the edge of the area he is especially dangerous, scoring three times from that position last season.

Edouard goal type 2020/21
Type of goal Non-penalty goals
One touch 7
Two touch 4
Three touch 2
0-6 yards 4
7-18 yards 6
18+ yards 3

Until now Vieira has preferred to use Christian Benteke as his target man striker, with Wilfried Zaha and one other forward either side of him in a 4-3-3.

Edouard is accustomed to leading the line on his own so it will be interesting to see if Benteke, who scored 10 goals last season, keeps his place.

On occasion we could see a front two of Edouard and Benteke in a 4-4-2, and tactically they would have the potential to be an awkward pair to face.

This will be a big step up for Edouard, but his track record as a proven scorer should give him the confidence to thrive at this level.

Tomorrow: Former striker Cornet will carry a threat for Burnley

See: Talking Tactics - New signings for 2021/22

Add Odsonne Edouard (£6.5m) to your Fantasy Premier League squad

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