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Celtic had a mare on Mohamed Elyounoussi

Celtic have got little wrong with regards to incomings at Parkhead in recent times, although one key decision that has potentially come back to bite them is failing to secure a permanent deal for former loanee, Mohamed Elyounoussi.

The Norway international joined the Scottish Premiership side on a loan deal in the summer of 2019, having only been signed by parent club Southampton for a fee of around £16m the year prior.

An obvious talent, the playmaker went on to sparkle for the Hoops in his two seasons in Glasgow – having seen his loan deal extended for a further year – scoring 24 goals and providing 14 assists in just 67 games across all competitions for the club.

That haul included a stunning tally of 17 goals and eight assists during the 2020/21 campaign, with only striker Odsonne Edouard having provided more goal contributions (28) that season under then-boss Neil Lennon.

Notably lauded as “outstanding” by Lennon after a clash with Cluj back in October 2019, the 45-cap menace certainly made an impact during his time north of the border, with there no doubt having been hope of keeping him at the club for the long-term.

Should Celtic have signed Elyounoussi permanently?

Yes!

Yes!

No!

No!

As it proved, however, no such deal came to fruition – despite reports he could cost just £5m – with the one-time Basel man ultimately returning to St Mary’s for a second chance under Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl.

Much to the frustration of those at Celtic Park, the 28-year-old has more than taken that chance over the past year, proving just what a talent he is by thriving for the Premier League outfit.

Last term proved particularly profitable as he recorded an impressive haul of eight goals and four assists across all competitions, with the £10.8m-rated gem offering a real versatile presence with his ability to feature all across the front line and in midfield.

Aside from netting a hat-trick and laying on two assists in an 8-0 drubbing of Newport County, arguably his most notable contribution last season came in the 3-2 victory away at Tottenham Hotspur, as the £60k-per-week sensation helped his side come from behind late on in north London.

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The Morocco-born star netted an 80th-minute equaliser to help inspire a remarkable turnaround, ghosting in to score a terrific header up against a back three that had cost a reported £94m in Ben Davies (£10m), Davinson Sanchez (£42m) and Cristian Romero (£42m).

Beyond the goal, the Norwegian was in tremendous form across the board that day, making three key passes and completing all three of his dribble attempts during a complete attacking performance.

Such a display has proven his credentials as a real top-drawer asset, with it having been something of a mistake for Celtic to not stump up the required fee to secure him on a permanent deal,

Article title: Celtic had a mare on Mohamed Elyounoussi

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