Former Celtic striker Tommy Coyne reckons Odsonne Edouard must have “ice in his veins” to handle the pressure of leading the line for the Hoops so smoothly.
The 21-year-old Frenchman has scored five goals in nine matches this season to follow his William Hill Scottish Cup double.
The club’s record signing has netted four goals against Rangers and Coyne believes he is getting better and better ahead of Celtic’s trip to Ibrox on Sunday.
“I think he’s fantastic,” said Coyne, who was promoting a fundraising campaign for a new pavilion at the home of his former youth team, Hillwood Football Club in Glasgow.
“For someone who is so young… I went to Celtic at 27 and I felt the pressure then, but at 19-20 years of age, he must have ice in his veins.
“His hold-up play is fantastic and I think it’s improving since Neil (Lennon) has come in. I think it is suiting him better, he gets more of the ball, and I think he is going to turn into a fantastic player.
“Any player in the Celtic team playing with such confidence and doing well week in, week out, is always going to go to somebody in England and Europe, it’s just a matter of time.
“If the money is right for the club then he will be sold, but until that case I don’t think Celtic will sell him.”
Like Edouard, Coyne knows about scoring against Rangers. The former Republic of Ireland international scored the only goal in an Old Firm Scottish Cup derby in February 1990.
“For that game, I don’t think you are ever forgotten, scoring in the Old Firm, especially if you win,” he said.
“It definitely gives you that kind of feeling that the fans are right behind you because there is nothing better than scoring in an Old Firm game.”
Coyne also scored in a 3-0 win over Rangers in the same competition the following year.
“You just go in there hoping to do the best you can, not let yourself down, not let the fans down, and just come out with a result that just makes everyone so happy,” he said.
Rangers appear to have strengthened again over the summer following improvement last season but Coyne believes Steven Gerrard’s men still have it all to prove.
“Celtic have been dealing with that pressure for the last eight seasons when they have had to win the title, so I don’t see any more pressure on Celtic,” said Coyne, who topped the Premier Division goalscoring charts with Dundee, Celtic and Motherwell.
“I think all the pressure is on Rangers really. Rangers have started well but it’s about keeping it going throughout the season. Celtic have been over the course and distance and they know how to do it.
“I don’t have any doubts that Rangers will be better but it’s having that consistency that Celtic have got and have had for the last eight years.
“Rangers will give it their best shot but I still think Celtic will have the better squad for the remainder of the season and go on to win the title.”
– Hillwood Football Club founder and Hillwood Community Trust chair Willie Smith said: “If anyone is interested in helping us complete this project that will also help children from the local area I would encourage them to email [email protected] or contact me directly on 07817 505 915.”