Celtic manager Neil Lennon confirms disappointing Mohamed Elyounoussi news

By David Walton

December 17, 2019

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has confirmed that Mohamed Elyounoussi’s injury woes will continue as he’s set to miss tomorrow’s game at Hearts.

Elyounoussi featured in the first half against Rangers in the Betfred Cup nearly two weeks ago. He didn’t look 100% fit, and in the end he was hooked at half-time.

That was his first appearance since the 2-1 win in Lazio back in early November. It’s been a disappointing momentum-halter too considering he scored seven goals and managed six assists in his first 13 games (Transfermarkt).

Mohamed Elyounoussi’s impressive start to the season has been halted (Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

However, Lennon confirmed at his press-conference via Celtic TV that he’s still going to be out for a bit longer.

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“He might be out for a little bit longer. It’s going to take a bit of time to settle that down (Elyounoussi’s injury).”

A chance for Mikey Johnston to seize the position?

Lennon also confirmed that Johnston is pushing to make Wednesday, and if he doesn’t manage it then will definitely be available for Saturday. It certainly looks as though he’s going to be back before his Norwegian left-wing rival.

Elyounoussi was a key player back in October and early November (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

After beating Rangers back in September at Ibrox, Johnston’s injury allowed Elyounoussi to show his worth and rack up some impressive numbers. It’s key that Johnston now manages to do the same before the on-loan Southampton man returns.

Interestingly, Johnston has also been looking sharp whenever he’s featured. That’s despite the fact he’s still been carrying niggles in recent weeks. He was the standout performer in Cluj, and also looked impressive in recent cameos against Ross County and Hamilton respectively.

The position is there for him to pounce upon. Considering Elyounoussi’s issues, Johnston won’t have a better chance to really lay down a marker. So far, he’s been doing just that.

Celtic also need Mikey Johnston fit for tomorrow (Paul Ursachi/MB Media/Getty Images)

Alternatively, Callum McGregor and Ryan Christie can also play left-mid, whilst we still have Scott Sinclair available too if needs must. The main battle, however, will continue to be between Elyounoussi and Johnston.

We could do with his quick feet at Tynecastle tomorrow night against a side who could look to press us high. His energy and directness would be exactly what Hearts don’t want to face. All eyes will certainly be on where he’s at tomorrow.