According to a recent exclusive interview by Football Insider, Premier League legend Darren Bent has tipped Celtic to be able to ‘easily’ complete a deal with Southampton for the purchase of Norwegian winger Mohamed Elyounoussi. The talented attacker is currently enjoying his second loan spell as a player at the Parkhead club, and the former England striker has been thoroughly impressed with what he has seen from the forward. He said, “It could be a deal that gets done quite easily. To sell him, that might be the best thing to do (for Southampton).”
Although Bent has tipped Celtic to easily sign Mohamed Elyounoussi, whether or not Southampton are willing to let him go for cheap is something that remains to be seen. The Premier League legend continued, “Southampton are absolutely flying at the minute, I really like the stuff that they’re doing down there at Southampton and I have done for a number of years now. They’ve always impressed my the way they do business. They always seem to produce all these very good players and sell them a lot of money. It wouldn’t surprise me if they sell him for a profit and make a little bit of money.”
What Is Celtic’s Current Situation In The Wide Areas?
Celtic haven’t had the greatest of starts to the Premiership campaign, as they currently find themselves in second place with a whopping nine-point gap between themselves and league leaders Rangers. While a lot of that has been down to their defensive fragility, it must be taken into account that their attacking play hasn’t been up to the usual standard either. Injuries to key names have done very little to help Neil Lennon’s cause, while the lack of creativity and finesse from wide areas has undoubtedly been one of the biggest concerns.
With just James Forrest and Elyounoussi as the realistic wide options, losing one of them in the summer could put the Hoops in a dire situation. Forrest has spent a majority of the last couple of months on the sidelines, and this has placed a lot of the attacking responsibilities on to the Norwegian’s shoulders. Despite Ryan Christie being deployed in the wide role in Forrest’s stead, Elyounoussi has been required to consistently produce the goods. While his recent hat-trick in the league showed that he’s capable of doing that, depending on one player regularly is never the greatest idea.
What Makes Elyounoussi Such A Key Player For Celtic?
The Southampton loanee has been in blistering form since the start of the season, and he has singlehandedly won the Celts numerous fixtures across a variety of competitions. He scored their only goal in the defeat to AC Milan, before finding the net twice in the 2-2 draw against Lille. Despite not putting up the best display against Prague, it must be taken into account that playing week-in week-out was never going to be an easy task. The panache and class that he offers in the final third are second to none in this Celtic team, while his ability to cut inside and fire with his right foot has been one of Neil Lennon’s key weapons this season as well.
Bent Has Tipped Celtic To Easily Sign Mohamed Elyounoussi: Should Lennon Go For It?
With the Bhoys seemingly struggling to keep up with the pace being set by Rangers even with Elyounoussi in the team, the Celtic faithful will be dreading even imagining their situation had the Norwegian not come back for a second loan spell. Despite only having spent a year and a half in Glasgow, most fans will agree that the Southampton man is the most gifted footballer at the club, even with the likes of Jeremie Frimpong and Odsonne Edouard being taken into account.
With Steven Gerrard’s Rangers side looking like the strongest team in the division for the first time in a long time, Celtic will surely need to strengthen over the summer. In such a situation, if they were to lose Elyounoussi, it would be nothing but a step in the opposite direction. Convincing the Saints to sell is surely not going to be as easy a task as Bent suggests, but irrespective of the price they quote, it would be in the Hoops’ best interest to pay the asking price and ensure that Elyounoussi is here at the start of next season as well.
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