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7 goals, 6 assists – Celtic signing their former loan star will only boost their squad strength

Mohamed Elyounoussi was in sensational form in the game against Reykjavik (Getty Images)
Mohamed Elyounoussi was in sensational form in the game against Reykjavik (Getty Images)

Why Celtic should land Mohamed Elyounoussi permanently

According to the Daily Record, Scottish champions Celtic have kicked off contract talks with former loan star Mohamed Elyounoussi.

The Southampton winger had arrived at Celtic Park on a season-long loan last summer. The 25-year-old became an instant hit at the Scottish club, featuring prominently in the first half of the season, until a foot injury ruled him out in January.

Southampton winger Mohamed Elyounoussi during his loan spell at Celtic last season.
Southampton winger Mohamed Elyounoussi during his loan spell at Celtic. (Getty Images)

He did make a comeback into the side, playing in Celtic’s four of their last six league games. Having proved his worth within the Celtic line-up in such a short period of time, the Scottish side are now keen to land him permanently at Parkhead. (h/t Daily Record)

Celtic boss Neil Lennon admitted that he is desperate to add the 25-year-old winger to his side permanently ahead of next season. Despite his season being hampered by an injury, Elyounoussi played 20 matches across all competitions for Celtic, scoring seven goals and six assists.

That is even more than what he has featured for his parent club Southampton, whom he joined in the summer of 2018. The presence of wingers such as Nathan Redmond, and Sofiane Boufal within the squad, saw Elyounoussi fall behind the pecking order. He made just 19 appearances for them in his maiden season.

Mohamed Elyounoussi playing for Southampton in the 2018-19 Premier League season.
Mohamed Elyounoussi (centre) playing for Southampton in the 2018-19 PL season. (Getty Images)

Having failed to find the back of the net or provide an assist a single time, Elyounoussi’s position came under even more jeopardy with the arrival of young winger Moussa Djenepo last summer. This saw the Norwegian winger being offloaded beyond the borders to Celtic.

In Elyounoussi, Celtic will have a proven winger in their mix

Celtic are aiming for a tenth successive title win next season. And manager Lennon must strengthen the squad to achieve that historic feat. Celtic do not have any experienced wingers in their side apart from James Forrest.

Jonny Hayes was released by the club after the end of the season, while Daniel Arzani is only on loan. This leaves the club with just Mikey Johnston and Maryan Shved as the other options. The trio haven’t been regulars this season and lack big-game experience. Furthermore, Arzani is expected to return to parent club Manchester City once his deal runs out this summer.

On-loan Celtic winger Daniel Arzani is expected to return to his parent club Manchester City at the end of this month.
On-loan Celtic star Daniel Arzani is expected to return to parent club Manchester City. (Getty Images)

Considering all this, Celtic need an established winger in their midst if they wish to stay at the top. Meanwhile, Elyounoussi, who has already proved himself in Scotland, is not short on experience and quality, having scored 23 goals from 84 matches for former side Basel.

Hence, Celtic’s attempts to secure Elyounoussi’s services permanently looks like a wise decision and they should continue with their pursuit to land him as soon as possible.

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Verdict

Having proved himself at Celtic, Elyounoussi would be a perfect fit at Parkhead if they succeed in signing him permanently. His arrival will only make them stronger, with Lennon’s side lacking depth in the wide areas.

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