Celtic midfielder Eboue Kouassi could break 41-month duck with Genk on Saturday

By David Walton

March 5, 2020

Celtic midfielder Eboue Kouassi is looking to break a 41-month duck this weekend with loan club Genk.

The Ivorian is on loan with the Belgian club until the end of the season. However, he’s struggled to really get going since January after sitting out for a couple of matches through injury.

He did manage to make his return back in late February when he played 59 minutes against KV Kortrijk. He then followed that up with his first 90-minute display for his new club against Club Brugge in a 2-1 defeat last weekend.

Eboue Kouassi in action for Celtic (Igor Russak/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

It was Kouassi’s first 90-minute appearance since Celtic’s 2-0 defeat to RB Leipzig back in October 2018 in a Europa League contest. However, this weekend could he could go one better.

Should Kouassi manage to play yet another 90 minutes for Genk, he’ll have managed to have played two consecutive full matches. The last time he managed that? A whole 41 months ago during his days with Krasnodar in Russia.

An unfortunately telling stat

Indeed, you have to go all the way back to October 2nd 2016 for the last time Kouassi played 90-minutes in back-to-back-matches. Those came in games against CSKA Moscow and Rubin Kazan respectively (Transfermarkt). Therefore, he’ll be itching to string another 90 minutes together in order to improve on what’s a pretty telling stat.

It shows just how depraved of first-team action Kouassi has been at Parkhead. Sure, in his three years in Glasgow he’s managed to make 22 appearances. On four of those occasions he’s played the full game, but never back-to-back (Transfermarkt).

Kouassi hasn’t made an appearance for Celtic since picking up a bad ACL tear against Hearts in October 2018. That was the injury that really cost him his chance at Parkhead, with the midfielder coming onto a game before that bitter blow.

Celtic midfielder Eboue Kouassi (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Hopefully his recent outings for Genk is a sign that he’s well over the injury he picked up in training last month. The Daily Record stated that he was likely to be out for a month at the time, but the midfielder looks to be back way ahead of schedule.

That should give him a chance to nail down a starting place with Genk and continue to show what he has. Goodness knows Kouassi could do with this opportunity working out.

But will he break his 41-month duck? Fingers crossed.

What does this stat tell us about Kouassi’s time at Celtic? Is it telling that he hasn’t played two full matches back-to-back in so long? Give us your own verdict in our discussion forum below.