With Odsonne Edouard seemingly creeping towards the Parkhead exit door this summer, a void will need to be filled in the Celtic squad.

His reputation may have taken a hit in recent months, but the Frenchman is still not easily replaced.

One name that has emerged recently is Thomas Henry, Edouard's compatriot who is currently playing for OH Leuven in the Belgian Pro League.

After a stellar debut top-flight season, Henry has started the current campaign with three goals in three games amid talk of a potential £7million move to join the Ange Postecoglou revolution.

Here, The Celtic Way takes a closer look at Henry, where he has plied his trade, his style of play and whether he could replace Edouard in the Hoops squad.

Who is Thomas Henry?

Henry is somewhat of a late developer. At 26, he has only one full top-flight season on his CV - although it was an impressive one. The Frenchman struck 21 times in 31 matches in the Belgian Pro League as Leuven finished 11th last term. 

Prior to Leuven, Henry played in his homeland for Nantes and lower-league sides Beuvais, Frejus Saint-Raphael and Chambly without really standing out or nailing down a regular role. Indeed, he played as a winger as often as he did up front and actually turned out as a wing-back regularly for Chambly too.

That prompted a move to the Belgian second tier with Tubize and a change in fortune as he started playing centre forward regularly and found the net 11 times in 16 appearances before the end of January.

Leuven - then managed by former Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson - saw Henry's potential and recruited him mid-season. The striker went on to bag another five goals and laid on three assists before building on that again in the 2019-20 season with 15 goals en route to promotion.

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Heny has become a fans' favourite at Leuven but appears ready for a change in scenery following his goal-laden top-tier debut.

"I've worked hard in recent years and I think I have really progressed as a player," he is quoted as saying in the Daily Record.  "I only became a number nine since I arrived here from Tubize two years ago and I think I have grown into the role.

"My goal is to improve and I want to take a new step. I feel capable of it. I want to become even better and my ambition is to play at as high a level as possible.

"The club knows that and we will see the opportunities that are presented to me this summer. I don't set myself any limits or barriers."

Key attributes and player profile

Henry's goal record over the past few seasons is impressive, but the question is if it is sustainable. Based on xG, the indication is that it could well be; he scores about as many as expected from the quality of chances he gets.

The WyScout data available from the past six seasons tells us he has scored 61 goals with an xG of 61.7. If we narrow that to the time he's spent playing full-time as a centre forward (so, since 2018-19) it's 55 goals with an xG of 51.16. That's a slight overperformance but not one of Marian Shved proportions (the Ukrainian scored 11 times with an xG of just less than two prior to his Celtic arrival). 

Celtic Way:

Henry's shot map, which I've limited to his last 75 shots, shows he rarely takes any from outside the box and even when he does they're still in central areas. He is generally pretty accurate with his shooting too (49.6 per cent since the start of the 2018-19 season; Edouard for comparison is 49.06 per cent).

The fact most of his goals come from close central positions ties in well with Postecoglou's emphasis on the centrality of chances/shots in attacking areas. The Celtic boss naturally favours cutbacks over crosses but having the option of, for instance, a classic James Forrest dink into the middle for a striker with the presence and movement of Henry isn’t so bad an alternative.

Celtic Way:

As his 6ft3in, 14-plus stone frame suggests, Henry is physical off the ball. But he doesn't seem totally reliant on that to get his goals; his speed of movement in and around the box has led Lokeren boss Karel Fraeye to say he can "cause havoc in defences" so he does have considerable pace to back up his power. The fact Leuven played the fewest amount of crosses in the top flight last season and his heatmap (above) since his move to striker indicate he does get around the pitch well and likes to get involved in link-up play.

He has played more than 18 passes per match since moving to striker full-time in 2018-19, although this would surely increase at Celtic given Edouard has played more than 22 per game over that same stretch. An increase in involvement in this manner should not, you would think, constitute a massive problem for a player who clocked up quite a bit of time in midfield not so long ago.

Celtic Way:

In the air, though, there is really no contest between the two. Edouard may be 6ft 2in but his game has never been about aerial dominance so it is unsurprising the stats show a clear contrast in physicality compared to Henry, with the Leuven forward way out in front in terms of aerial contests per game and how often he wins them.

Henry also outstrips Albian Ajeti, Kyogo Furuhashi and Leigh Griffiths in that regard, as well as topping all four Celtic strikers in total duels contested and won per game, recoveries made in the opposition half per game and fouls won per game too.  

If the search is for a more physical option up front, Henry profiles as someone who will fit that mould. That said, the former midfielder could also bring a versatility to the role that should not - and, you'd like to imagine would not, given the price tag being reported - go undervalued.

Where does he fit in?

Well, Henry is clearly not a like-for-like replacement for Edouard. But that's not necessarily a bad thing given Celtic's new style of play and Postecoglou's emphasis on centrality of chances would no doubt have required some adjustments on Edouard's part. 

Kyogo has already demonstrated how fruitful the new manager's system can be for a striker who creates his own space in and around the box and is willing to move into the danger areas incessantly rather than linger out wide or in deeper positions.

However, if the transfer fee is indeed around £7million as reported, then the chances are Henry would start most matches when fit. Kyogo has impressed centrally himself so far, so does that mean he would be pushed out wide more often?

Reassuringly, the Japan international has played off the wing plenty throughout his career and gives the impression of someone who will contribute regardless of starting position.

And it is always good to have options. Plenty have pointed out the team is a tad on the lighter side and Henry could be an avenue for Postecoglou to remedy that while adding some firepower and versatility to his ranks at the same time.