Mohamed Elyounoussi struggled for one year at Southampton after making a move from FC Basel. However, he has been firing on all cylinders for Celtic after he made a season-long loan move in the summer. The Norwegian winger has bagged seven goals and five assists in 10 games in all competitions so far, and he has settled in seamlessly into the club’s setup.
Hartson reveals transfer news
Given his form so far, it wouldn’t be wrong for Celtic to consider a permanent move for him. Former Celtic forward John Hartson recently went on to reveal that the club will try to sign him permanently next season. Hartson said (via The Scottish Sun), ”Elyounoussi looks a top player to me, and I hear Celtic will try to turn his loan into a permanent deal if they can.”
Why will Celtic need Elyounoussi beyond this season?
As mentioned, it isn’t surprising to see the Hoops trying to turn his deal into a permanent one after his rich goal scoring form. The Bhoys will also need options on the left flank as Scott Sinclair has been entirely ignored by Lennon so far this season.
The English winger is in the final year of his deal and rumours have emerged that he could look to leave in January. Lewis Morgan is another option who can play on the left. However, he doesn’t seem to have what it takes to succeed at the top level as he has been below par with his performances. Therefore we think that the club should be on the lookout for a left-winger.
Elyounoussi is currently in the prime of his career as he is still 25 and he can be a long term solution for the Hoops on the flanks. His ability to finish off moves and link-up play has made him a standout asset, and he has shown that he can perform in Europe as well. With Basel, he even had Champions League experience so that should be another plus for Lennon.
Price Tag: A significant concern for Lennon
However, the primary issue for Celtic could be Elyounoussi’s price tag. Southampton paid £16m for him in 2018, and he still has a long term contract with them. We think that the Saints will very likely demand a figure of over £10-12m at the very least. So Celtic might have to break their all-time transfer record to sign the Norwegian international next summer. The transfer market is changing, and Celtic should be able to pay over £10m for the right man.
Therefore we think that the Hoops could open their vault to sign him next season for big money. However, there is still a lot to play for this season and Lennon will likely keep looking at him closely before deciding on a permanent deal.
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