Southampton could be heading for a huge disaster as Ralph Hasenhuttl has seemingly made a decision about Mo Elyounoussi’s future at the club.
According to Norweigan outlet VG, Southampton manager Hasenhuttl has decided that he wants to give Mo Elyounoussi a chance next season at St. Mary’s. The report claims that Southampton are lacking options in the wide attacking midfield roles and that Hasenhuttl believes Elyounoussi could return from his loan at Celtic and fight for his place in the team.
VG also claims that several German teams are eyeing up a move for the Norway international. Wolfsburg, Frankfurt and Hertha Berlin are all interested in Elyounoussi and would make a swoop for him this summer if Southampton decides to make him available, although the report rules out any type of loan exit for the forward.
Former Celtic striker Chris Sutton labelled Elyounoussi as a “disappointment” earlier this season and said that that he flattered to deceive in the Scottish Premiership.. He told the Record Celtic podcast, as transcribed by 67HailHail:
“With Elyounoussi, I think he’s flattered to deceive at times. His goal tally for club and country surprises me a little bit, but he hasn’t been consistent enough and I think he’s been a disappointment if I’m honest.
“Celtic getting him back was a big deal. I was really excited about that link-up between Elyounoussi and Edouard at the start of the season because in the previous season there were signs in patches that their understanding was really exceptional.”
Southampton and Hasenhuttl are heading for a disaster with this decision. Instead of dipping into the market to bring in a top-class addition to the squad to improve the team going into next season, they appear to be exploring the possibility of gambling on Elyounoussi being a different player to the one he was for the club in the Premier League previously.
This could be a cost-cutting method for Southampton rather than one with the best intentions of improving the squad in mind, as it would allow them to avoid spending on a new signing.
Elyounoussi struggled in his first season at Southampton in the Premier League. The winger failed to provide a single goal or assist in 16 appearances, eight starts, as he averaged a dismal WhoScored rating of 6.51. He averaged 0.9 key passes and 0.7 dribbles completed per game, highlighting his lack of quality at Premier League level which led to his loan move to Celtic the following season.
The £60k-per-week flop must have seriously impressed at Celtic for Hasenhuttl to change his mind then? Well, no, not really.
In the 2020/21 Scottish Premiership season, the forward racked up eight goals and two assists in 29 appearances for the Hoops, averaging a WhoScored rating of 6.72. This does not suggest that he is now somehow ready to make the step up to Premier League football as he failed to set the Scottish Premiership alight.
Southampton could be making a grave error by rejecting the German interest in his services to give him another chance in Premier League.