Yossouf Mulumbu has successfully qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with DR Congo.
The Celtic loanee is currently on loan at Kilmarnock until the end of the season. But just 24 hours ago, the industrious midfielder was in a do-or-die clash against Liberia in the AFCON qualifying group.
DR Congo only needed a draw to advance to the competition, but Bakambu’s second-half goal was enough to take the three points. It’s the fourth consecutive AFCON qualification for Mulumbu in a row. The last time he failed to qualify was back in 2012.
A shot in the arm for Mulumbu?
It’s probably unthinkable that he doesn’t get called up by his country for the tournament in June. The competition takes place over the course of June and July, so he won’t be back at Celtic before then.
So far this season, however, the midfielder has failed to make much of an impression. He made only three appearances for Celtic before heading to Kilmarnock back in January.
Since then, however, he still hasn’t been able to stand out from the pack in Ayrshire.
What Celtic need to see from him is the midfield dominance that led to him signing for the club in the summer. In his big chances against Rangers at Ibrox since the loan move, Mulumbu didn’t look as sharp as he did last season for Killie.
Despite that, he’s clearly still a big-hitter for his country. He’ll be looking to lead DR Congo to a successful campaign this summer, but he has to use that as an incentive to get his club career back on course.
It’s already looking grim for Mulumbu. He has one more year on his Celtic contract when he returns to Parkhead after AFCON. It doesn’t feel as though he’ll be getting a new contract after it either, unless he starts proving to be of some real value to the Hoops.
Hopefully this is the spring he needs, as it’s a fine individual and collective achievement for Mulumbu and his country.