Journalist Tom Barclay has claimed that Odsonne Edouard’s versatility is a major positive for Crystal Palace’s attack.
How has Edouard started at Palace?
The 23-year-old made an instant impact on his Premier League debut, scoring twice against Tottenham after coming off the bench in the dying stages of the match.
He failed to add to his tally in the next three top-flight games, and was then moved to the left wing for Palace’s trip to Arsenal last week to cover for Wilfried Zaha, who missed out due to illness.
Edouard excelled out wide, and got back on the scoresheet in the 2-2 draw at the Emirates. With Zaha only fit enough to make the bench on the weekend against Newcastle, Edouard played on the left flank again, and linked up nicely with Christian Benteke at times, as Palace played out a 1-1 stalemate with the Magpies.
What has Barclay said about Edouard?
Barclay does not believe that Edouard looks out of place on the wing in a 4-2-3-1 formation, claiming that the Frenchman is comfortable in this position due to his well-rounded skillset.
Referring to Edouard, Barclay told GIVEMESPORT: “He’s not a centre forward playing out of position, he can play along the forward line in all three positions. You wouldn’t play him, I don’t think, as a winger in a 4-4-2, but as an inside forward or a player who doesn’t have to defend as much, he can definitely do that.
“And that’s another great option for them. He’s got great pace, he’s obviously physical, he’s got good technical ability, and a great finish again for that goal [against Arsenal].”
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Does Edouard have a future on the wing at Palace?
It seems likely that Edouard will be used primarily through the middle as a striker while he is at Palace, as that is the role that he is most accustomed to.
Furthermore, when everyone is fit, Palace have a number of options to cover the wide positions, including Zaha, Eberechi Eze, Michael Olise and Jordan Ayew. Therefore, Vieira will probably rely on these players to deliver the goods from the flanks for much of this season.
However, Edouard has shown in the last couple of games that he can produce eye-catching displays when playing on the wing, and that has given Palace’s attack another dimension, as it has allowed the summer signing and Benteke to play together. This combination is likely to cause any defence in the league some problems.
Vieira now knows that he has this trump card up his sleeve, and can perhaps look to use it more as the season progresses if his side are struggling to break teams down with just one of the duo on the pitch.
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