Patrick Vieira makes honest Odsonne Edouard claim ahead of Crystal Palace vs Southampton

Patrick Vieira says that Odsonne Edouard needs to score soon to get his confidence up but insists he is pleased with how the forward has played for the team this season.

The summer arrival from Celtic has three goals in a Palace shirt so far this season, though two of those came on his debut against Spurs back in September.

He was handed his first start in over a month against Everton on Sunday though failed to find the back of the net before being replaced by Christian Benteke for the final 15 minutes.

Edouard is currently averaging around 2.32 shots per 90 minutes in a Palace shirt, and although this falls well below his average at Celtic (4.48 in his final season in Scotland), he is doing more of the dirty work to help out his team.

In the Premier League, he is intercepting more passes and making more tackles than he ever did for the Hoops. The only thing missing currently is more consistency in front of the goal.

“I think for strikers the more goals you score the higher your confidence is and he needs to score goals,” Vieira told on Tuesday.

“But when you look at the other side of his game I think he helps us to play better.

“Him coming in between the lines or holding the ball and combining with those around him – he is really good at that. I believe against Everton he had a good performance and the only thing that was missing was a goal.”

Edouard has had to be patient at times this season and hasn’t always played in his natural centre-forward position. Benteke hit a purple patch between October and November where he scored four goals in five games, while against Arsenal and Man City he was played on the wing to accommodate for other players.

That has sometimes worked for him and sometimes held him back. At the Emirates both he and Benteke got on the scoresheet together, though in the 1-0 defeat to Leeds at Elland Road he looked devoid of ideas and was largely drifting through the game.

“I think it is about how can we play and him be a part of the play when in possession,” added Vieira. “We need to create chances for him to score those goals.

“He is there in the box but maybe the timing is not good or maybe the ball doesn’t arrive at the right time.”

At 24 years of age and having signed a four-year contract when joining Palace over the summer there is still plenty of time for Edouard to build himself a lasting career in south London.

He has, after all, never played in the Premier League before this season and so shouldn’t be expected to immediately hit the ground running with a bagful of goals.

Another start on Wednesday night against Southampton might provide the perfect opportunity for him to get his next goal and kick on for the rest of the season ahead.

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