Celtic are reaching a point where they can no longer consider a future without Mohamed Elyounoussi. The Norwegian’s form this season has been nothing short of spectacular, outscoring star man Odsonne Edouard across all competitions so far. But with Elyounoussi only being in Glasgow temporarily, Neil Lennon and co need to scramble to make sure they can sign him on a permanent deal.
Darren Bent recently predicted that Southampton would be willing to cash in on the St Mary’s outcast, who has made just 19 appearances under Ralph Hasenhuttl, in which he is yet to find the back of the net. With the Saints flying in the Premier League at the moment, it’s difficult to envisage room for Elyounoussi in their current squad.
Indeed, Bent believes that the south coasters will sell up, providing they can recoup all, of if not in excess of, the £16million they signed him for (via Football Insider).
Whilst this is a hike from the original reported £8-10million quoted price tag, it’s not something that the Hoops can afford to shy away from. Elyounoussi has popped up with some crucial goals this season and has kept their Premiership hopes alive, despite currently trailing to Rangers by nine points.
His performance against Lille also gave Celtic a foot back in the door – bagging a brace to force the Europa League match into sharing the spoils. Undeniably, Lennon’s side would look very different without the influence of Elyounoussi. Tom English recently lauded Elyounoussi as a “dangerous player”, following his brace-scoring performance in Celtic’s 6-0 win over KR Reykjavik.
With talks of Edouard being “unhappy” at the club and top sides like Arsenal eyeing up a move for him, the Bhoys simply cannot afford to lose two top-class forwards at once. A £16million fee will mean Celtic will set a new transfer record, going above Edouard’s signing price of £9.2million (via Transfermarkt). Whilst this will be a big thing to consider, it makes perfect sense.
Elyounoussi has already established himself as a fan favourite too. Many are on board with bringing the 26-year-old to Parkhead permanently as surely without his influence, Lennon and his men would seriously struggle next season.