Why Celtic must sign Mohamed Elyounoussi permanently
According to The Scotsman, Southampton would accept an offer of £9m for Mohamed Elyounoussi, who is plying his trade with Celtic on loan.
Elyounoussi, 25, joined Southampton from Swiss side FC Basel in 2018 for £16m but could manage only 16 appearances for the Saints. At the start of this season, he was sent on a season-long loan to Celtic.
He made a brilliant start to life in Scotland with 4 goals and 2 assists in six Premiership games. He was impressive and started regularly for Neil Lennon’s side before a foot injury forced him out of action for several days. He also helped Celtic win the Betfred Cup against Rangers last month.
However, the report suggests that Southampton are willing to offload the Norwegian on a permanent basis for £9m, the same amount Celtic paid for their record signing Odsonne Edouard.
Meanwhile, the Hoops were on a fine run of form before they lost 2-1 to Steven Gerrard’s Rangers side at the end of last month. A win could have seen them extended a lead over their rivals, who have a game in hand. The Hoops find themselves just 2 points clear at the top and it could get tighter when the season progresses.
With games coming thick and fast, it would be a stern test for Lennon to keep his players fit and this would be possible only if there is quality depth in the squad. In that regard, the manager has only two left-wingers at his disposal at the moment.
Manchester City loanee Daniel Arzani, and Elyounoussi, have been out of the team for a while and that leaves youngster Mikey Johnston and veteran Scott Sinclair as the options.
Scotland U21 international Johnston has done well so far whereas former Aston Villa man Sinclair has played just 17 minutes in the Premiership this season.
This clearly indicates that the manager needs a better player to form an attacking partnership and who else other than Elyounoussi.
The 25-year-old was at the top of his game before picking up an injury and once he returns, he would get into the team ahead of Johnston. He has played at the top level for a long time and his knowledge of the game must convince the Hoops to permanently take him on board.
The Norwegian winger is a bag of tricks combined with natural speed and in a total of 278 appearances in his career, he has scored 90 goals apart from the 55 assists he has provided.
This is an incredible feat for someone who plays on the wing. He can prove to be the difference for the Hoops in the years to come.
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Elyounoussi has the ability to develop into a better player and with time, he would become more lethal. If he is given the chance to continue alongside Edouard, the duo can wreak havoc in Scotland to form a great partnership.
Therefore, Celtic must not hesitate to match Southampton’s valuation of the winger. They must act quickly to secure his future at Celtic Park.