HE may be one of the quietest members of the Celtic squad, but Odsonne Edouard certainly does his talking on the park.

The double the French striker scored against Motherwell last Wednesday night took his tally for the 2019/20 campaign to 24, one more than he netted in the whole of last season.

He was the obvious choice for the Ladbrokes Premiership Player of the Month award for January.

Neil Lennon has been delighted with how the Parkhead club’s record £9 million signing has performed this term in general and since play restarted after the winter shutdown last month in particular.

As he prepared for a Premiership match against Hearts at Parkhead this evening which the defending Scottish champions must win to remain seven points clear of Rangers at the top of the table, Lennon gave an insight into Edouard’s personality and how he handles his leading scorer.

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“He’s very quiet,” he said. “He doesn’t talk very much. He is a man of few words, but plenty of action. He is in brilliant form at the minute. I am obviously delighted at his performance.

“He doesn’t speak back! But you don’t need to over-criticize him or give him a hard time. If you give him a bit of love, he accepts that. He appreciates a bit of friendliness and a bit of respect. He pays it back in spades with the way he’s playing.

“He is playing with a smile on his face and he is playing some beautiful football. He has a good temperament. To be fair, since I have come in, and that is nearly a year now, he has been a top man. When it comes to important goals and big game performances he is absolutely there.

“He is no mug. He is intelligent. There is a quiet confidence about him. He has got that aura about him as well sometimes which he carries. He is a big lad. I don’t want to build him up too much. His football is doing that for him. But we are all really enjoying working with him and watching him play.”

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Edouard has formed a potent strike partnership up front with Leigh Griffiths in the second half of the season as Lennon has switched to a 3-5-2 formation; the pair have scored nine goals between them in the six games they have played together.

Lennon admits the two are polar opposites as personalities off the park, but dovetail well on it. “Culturally, they’re different,” he said. “They are a different generation as well obviously. I think it’s important to get to know all the players.

“We have gone with two on a few occasions now and his link up play with Griff has been very good. It doesn’t faze him at all. He seems very happy. He has not come to me with any complaints since I have been here really. He keeps himself in good condition as well.

“It takes all types I suppose. What I do know is they are two very good centre forwards. Griff surpassed John Hartson’s goal tally for Celtic last week. That is a great milestone for Griff to have himself’’

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Asked if Griffiths was bringing out the best in Edouard, Lennon said: “Possibly. That might be the case. I think it is better than they get on with each other and I think they do. They are from different backgrounds and they are different personalities, but they are two very good centre forwards.

“I think the players around him as well all make huge contributions and the wide players as well. He is just developing and maturing into the player we all hoped he might be.”

Lennon has been pleased to see Edouard score two stunning free-kicks against Hamilton and Motherwell in the past fortnight and admits having several set piece specialists in his team is invaluable.

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“The last two he’s taken have been spot on,” he said. “The one at Motherwell was beautifully executed, in off the post, but the one at Hamilton was even more difficult given how close in he was. There was another against Stockholm. It’s a talent – one I never had – and it’s nice to have that available. Griff and Christie can take them as well and it’s really important.”