Why Celtic shouldn’t hesitate to pay £9million for Mohamed Elyounoussi
According to the Daily Record (h/t The Scottish Sun), Southampton have set a £9 million price tag for Norwegian winger Mohamed Elyounoussi, who joined Celtic on a season-long loan deal from St. Mary’s this past summer.
Elyounoussi, who plundered 23 goals and 30 assists in 84 appearances for Swiss giants Basel, completed a £16 million move to Southampton back in the summer of 2018, but he failed to register even a single goal or an assist in 19 appearances for the Saints across all competitions.
As a result of his underwhelming debut season in the Premier League, the 25-year-old found his opportunities limited under Ralph Hasenhuttl on the English south coast before Celtic came calling for his services this past summer, with Fraser Forster’s return to Parkhead on loan coinciding with the Norwegian’s arrival at the club.
The 24-cap Norwegian international made an immediate impact at Parkhead during the first half of the campaign and was one of the key driving forces behind Celtic’s resounding success in the group stages of the UEFA Europa League.
Elyounoussi, who has already racked up an impressive tally of 7 goals and 6 assists in 13 appearances for the Hoops across all competitions, hasn’t featured over the past month or so due to a foot injury after being hooked at the interval during Celtic’s triumph over Rangers in the Betfred Cup final back in December.
Now, as per the report, Southampton are willing to cut ties with the Norwegian winger permanently and have set a price tag of £9 million for Celtic, who would need to match the club-record £9 million that they paid to PSG for Odsonne Edouard in 2018 in order to seal a permanent move for the 25-year-old.
That would see the Saints accept a significant loss on their 16 million outlay in the transfer market in 2018 but Elyounoussi is apparently not a part of Hasenhuttl’s plans moving forward, with Sofiane Boufal re-establishing himself at St. Mary’s following a loan spell at Celta Vigo in the La Liga last season.
To put things into perspective, Celtic have a golden opportunity on their hands to complete a permanent transfer for Mohamed Elyounoussi, and while a fee of £9 million might look a bit daunting at the first glance as per the Scottish standards, the Norwegian has proven himself to be an instant hit at Parkhead.
Considering the current situation in the ever-inflating market where the prices of players are soaring sky-high with each passing window, it has become incredibly difficult to acquire quality players at a reasonable rate, and snapping up a player of Elyounussi’s quality for a 7-figure sum could represent a massive bargain for Celtic.
The Norwegian might not have featured in recent weeks due to his injury, but when fit, the 25-year-old has proven himself more than capable of tormenting defences for fun at the domestic level, having already established himself as a reliable source of goals and assists at Parkhead.
Add to that his heroics in the Europa League this season and his previous European experience while playing at Molde and Basel, and it should be an absolute no-brainer for the Hoops to snap him up, with Southampton apparently prepared to cash in on the winger.
Elyounoussi has turned out to be arguably one of Celtic’s most influential attacking recruits in recent years and completing a permanent deal for the Norwegian could potentially sort out their attack for several years moving forward, given that the 25-year-old still has his best years ahead of him.
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With that in mind, Celtic shouldn’t hesitate to snap up Mohamed Elyounoussi if he is, indeed, available at the reported price as the Hoops set their sights on yet another era of dominance under Neil Lennon.