Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Celtic Have To Wait Before Tying Down On Loan Attacker On Permanent Terms: Should The Hoops Get It Done?

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

Celtic have a mountain to climb next season to reclaim the coveted Premiership crown snatched by Rangers this year. It’s been a dreadful season for the Hoops, and a revamp is essential to meet the standards set by Steven Gerrard at Ibrox. They banked on a few loan signings across the pitch, including Mohamed Elyounoussi, who has been here at Parkhead since the previous campaign.

However, any potential long-term Celtic future of Elyounoussi is under major doubts with Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl keen on handing him an opportunity to shine at St. Mary’s.

“You can be sure that every player who is on loan we try to follow. We try to have the latest information about his performances, his physical condition at the moment. We have to do this and, therefore, we will have a look at a few and everybody who does well has a chance to come back in the summer.”

Revealed the Saints chief in a recent press conference (as claimed by the Daily Record).

The Norway international completed a £16m switch from Basel back in the summer of 2018 but has failed to live up to the expectations at South Coast. His last season at Celtic was injury-riddled, whereas this term, the 26-year-old has started only half of his league games so far.

Celtic winger Mohamed Elyounoussi in action against Dundee United
Dundee United v Celtic – Scottish Premiership – Tannadice Park Celtic s Mohamed Elyounoussi left and Dundee United s Calum Butcher battle for the ball during the Scottish Premiership match at Tannadice Park, Dundee. Picture date: Sunday March 7, 2021. Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior consent from rights holder. PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xJeffxHolmesx 58476756

He has fired in 13 goals and registered six assists in 37 appearances across competitions [stats vis Transfermarket], but his performance could have been way better, especially on big occasions.

Why Elyounoussi Would Still Do Well At Parkhead

Elyounoussi has been utilised down the flanks and also high up the pitch. However, he could not grab a starting status week in, week out ahead of the likes of Ryan Christie, David Turnbull or Callum McGregor. A midfield diamond did not suit him too, while the lack of work ethics is indeed a massive shortcoming in modern-day football. Yet his skills and traits are enough to make a difference in close contests, and the Bhoys should try to keep hold of him considering his quality and flexibility in the attacking third.

Southampton have roped in Takumi Minamino on loan from Liverpool, who had an immediate impact in Hampshire. It’s unclear though what would be the Reds’ call over the Japanese’s Anfield future, and the Saints, thus, should try their luck with Elyounoussi once before making a decision.

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