BY ANDREW MCSTEEN
After ensuring a point with his sixth Premier League strike of the season in the 1-1 draw at West Ham on Sunday, Eagles striker Odsonne Edouard equalled his total strikes from the whole of the last league season in just his 13th game.
In his first season at the SE25 club (2021/22), the French forward struck six times in 28 top-flight games, followed by five in 35 the following season.
His goal on Sunday put him into the top 10 of Premier League goalscorers this season with his goals contributing to just under half (seven) of Crystal Palace’s total of 16 points so far.
“I don’t think there’s been a vast difference in his performances or his playing style or even his consistency,” said Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson when asked about the current form of the 25-year-old.
“He has scored some goals this year, which was important [and] he was quite consistent actually in the final 10 games of last season when I came back to the club.
“But the thing is for forwards if they score goals, they are obviously getting more confidence. They feel better about themselves and most importantly of all, they may escape that sort of criticism that’s going to come their way if they’re playing on a regular basis and not scoring goals. I’m pleased for him. I’m pleased for the team, but we think he’s got the ability to give us a lot more than that.”
With key creative players around Edouard either out through injury or only recently returned from the medical room, Hodgson is in no doubt that more is to come.
“I’m certain that you will get more when we eventually get all of our creative players back on the field together,” he said.
“Doug Freedman (Crystal Palace Sporting Director) told me that (Ebere) Eze and (Michael) Olise have so far played 65 minutes together this season [and] we’re already 14 games in. If I add to that (Cheick) Doucoure, who’s out and then take away (Jefferson) Lerma, who missed about four or five weeks into the bargain, that’s a lot of players to be missing from our team and our squad.
“As a forward you need that creative influence around you to make certain the ball is set up for you. I think we’re doing better in that respect. I think we will give him more chances, and I believe that when we give him the chances, he will score them.”
PICTURE: KEITH GILLARD
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