Roy Hodgson is confident Odsonne Edouard can provide the goal threat Crystal Palace need this season after the French striker scored twice in his side’s 3-2 win over Wolves.
Palace only added goalkeeper Dean Henderson and defender Rob Holding on transfer deadline day, but Hodgson indicated he was happy with the strikers at his disposal after Jean-Phillipe Meteta set up goals for Eberechi Eze and Edouard following his introduction from the bench.
Edouard, who signed from Celtic for £14million two years ago, has endured a stop-start career at Selhurst Park but with four goals in five league and cup games already this season, Hodgson said the 25-year-old is now ready to take the next step and become a force in the Premier League.
“He was very good today throughout,” Hodgson said.
“He came here from Celtic where he was so highly-regarded and scored I don’t know how many goals and was a big, big star.
“When we first came back to the club he had not established himself as much as he would have liked.
“He did get that position as a centre-forward when we came in and he has got better and better, knowing how we want to try and play.
“He hadn’t lost the technique, talent, the skill or the things that made him so big at Celtic. I spoke to Brendan Rodgers not so long ago and he was glowing in his praise about him.”
Mateta teed up Edouard for his second goal with a perfect back-heeled pass and Hodgson said the big forward, who wanted to leave in the window, is an integral part of his squad.
“That is why we kept him,” Hodgson said.
“If I was to let every player who is not in the first 11 go, that is all we would have if we had a few injuries.
“You try to look after players as best you can, but if the 11 are playing very well, maybe there is not a space for them.”
All five goals at Selhurst Park came in the second half with Wolves equalising Edouard’s 56th-minute strike when Hwang Hee-Chan diverted the impressive Pedro Neto’s delivery past Sam Johnstone.
Neto also set up Matheus Cuhna for a stoppage-time consolation goal – after Eze and Edouard had made it 3-1 to Palace – and Wolves boss Gary O’Neil said although his side looked toothless in attack they deserved to get something from the game.
“It was not one I thought we were going to lose, for the majority of the game I thought we had decent control of it,” O’Neil said.
“Most of their chances came from us turning the ball over in areas where we shouldn’t. They were threatening from those situations but I thought when both teams were in shape we looked the better side.
“We lacked a bit of punch. We had 60 final-third entries, which is a lot for an away game, and more than Palace, but we didn’t really threaten their goal enough.”