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'Most influential player in the league': Pundit raves about 22-year-old who Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta reportedly wants

Celtic striker and reported Arsenal target Odsonne Edouard has been highly praised by Sky Sports pundit Andy Walker.

According to The Mirror, the Gunners are interested in the highly rated 22-year-old, who has claimed an impressive 60 goals and 31 assists in 126 Hoops appearances.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta reportedly plans to bolster his ranks this summer amid an uncertain future for the club’s main frontmen, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

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This season alone, Edouard has registered 27 goals and 19 assists, helping Celtic move a massive 13 points clear ahead of closest rivals Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership table before the season was suspended.

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The Frenchman has played for Celtic since the summer of 2017, when he initially joined on loan from Paris Saint-Germain, and joined the Bhoys permanently the following year for a club record £9million (Sky Sports).

As well as praising Edouard, Walker reflected on how the Scottish league – and the top players plying their trade in it – is now being viewed differently from England in wake of how players like Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson and John McGinn have impressed in the Premier League.

“The market has changed recently as Celtic have managed to get huge fees for players like Dembele,” Walker said. “It makes me wonder how much of a fee Eduourd will attract – playing European football helps when he’s performing well there and for the French under-21s.

“I think there’s a realisation in England that the talent is there. Virgil van Dijk played in Scotland for years and nobody fancied him until Southampton got him and he made the step to Liverpool. Andy Robertson was the same and John McGinn is a perfect example. As soon as he got settled after 20 games for Aston Villa, there was talk of him moving to Manchester United.

“There is now general acceptance that Scottish football isn’t as bad as some first thought. There are players that can thrive in the competitive environment and is a good stage for them to showcase their talent. Players seem happy to come to Scotland and make it a stepping stone to bigger clubs with more money. Most Scottish clubs accept that.

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“Most Celtic fans would agree with me when I say Edouard has been the most influential player in the league. He steps up on the big occasion, scores important goals, links the play and is so good in possession.”

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Celtic’s record signing has been nothing short of sensational since arriving at Parkhead and his £9million fee seems a snip now, but surely it’s now only a matter of time before he ups sticks and heads to one of Europe’s elite clubs.

Arsenal have endured a difficult season and, with questions over the futures of both Aubameyang and Lacazette, Arteta is likely to dip into the market for a new frontman.

Scotland’s pundits are running out of superlatives to send Edouard’s way, and his scoring and assisting record speaks for itself – he is ready for a big career move, and Arsenal, a club eager to get back to the top table, seems like a great fit for him.

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