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Southampton Loanee Returns To Celtic Training Ahead Of Contract Expiry: Lennon Must Strike A Deal

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According to a recent report by the Daily Record, Southampton winger Mohamed Elyounoussi returned to first-team training with Premiership champions Celtic on Wednesday. The winger, whose loan deal at Parkhead is set to come to an end in the coming weeks, was seen being put through his paces by the Celts’ coaching staff. Although there isn’t real clarity on whether he’ll be looked at seriously by Neil Lennon’s side, he seemed to be wholly dedicated during the training session.

The fact that he’s returned to training will be a massive boost for the squad, as Neil Lennon wishes to keep Mohamed Elyounoussi at Celtic next season. The gaffer is claimed to be a big admirer of the Norwegian winger’s qualities, but the Saints are still touted to be demanding a fairly hefty fee for the attacker’s services. It has been further suggested in the report that there is a lack of clarity surrounding whether or not Celtic will make a serious move, but with La Liga outfit Real Sociedad also keen, Lennon will have to act quickly to snap him up.

What Did Elyounoussi Achieve At Celtic Last Season?

The Norwegian international was brought in on loan by the Scottish champions in the summer before the start of last season. Having arrived with hefty expectations, it’s safe to say that the trickster has made a decent enough impact.

It was in November that the Southampton loanee picked up an unfortunate foot injury, that kept him out of the side for an extended duration. Despite missing just under two months of league action till around the end of January, Elyounoussi managed a decent tally of seven goals throughout the campaign.

Neil Lennon Wish To Keep Mohamed Elyounoussi At Celtic - Elyounoussi dribbles the ball during a match
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – FEBRUARY 27: Mohamed Elyounoussi of Celtic FC takes on Guillermo Varela and Jens Stage of FC Kobenhavn during the UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg match between Celtic FC and FC Kobenhavn at Celtic Park on February 27, 2020 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

The 25-year-old was always far from being the fastest player on the pitch at any point, but his ball-carrying ability and sheer attacking prowess were received with good reviews by the Celtic faithful. A willing runner with the ball at his feet, the Norwegian even formed a good relationship with the rest of the Parkhead club’s attackers and played important roles in multiple telling fixtures. Capable of playing on either flank, the forward also offered Neil Lennon an added layer of versatility in the wide areas.

What Does Elyounoussi’s Southampton Future Hold?

The former Basel man spent just one full season at the St.Mary’s Stadium before he was shipped out to Celtic last summer. After putting up starring displays in his two years in Switzerland, a lot was expected of the attacker when the Saints first acquired him. Back to back campaigns with ten goals each for Basel were backed up a by a bang average season in the Premier League, where he didn’t manage a single meaningful contribution over 16 fixtures. Whether Ralph Hasenhuttl is willing to give him another opportunity though, remains to be seen.

Neil Lennon Wishes To Keep Mohamed Elyounoussi At Celtic: Should They Look To Sign Him Up?

The Norwegian was one of the many sparks in the Celtic squad over the course of the last league campaign, and the fact that he has returned to training despite having such a short duration remaining on his contract highlights the winger’s professionalism. Moreover, the attacker has even managed to make a place for himself among the hearts of the Celtic faithful this season. Keeping him going into the next campaign would come as an inexplicably considerable boost for the trickster, who could serve a variety of responsibilities under Lennon again.

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