Celtic midfielder Eboue Kouassi makes first appearance in 16 months for Genk

By David Walton

February 3, 2020

Eboue Kouassi’s injury woes finally appear to be over after making an appearance for Genk over the weekend.

The Celtic midfielder’s last outing before his Genk debut came on October 28th in the Betfred Cup against Hearts last season. Considering we’re into February 2020, that was 16 months ago. It’s an incredible amount of time to be out (Transfermarkt).

Granted, his appearance for Genk wasn’t anything substantial. He was brought on for the final five minutes of his side’s 1-0 win against Charleroi.

Celtic’s Eboue Kouassi (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Kouassi did manage to successfully help his side see out the game and take his side to within four points of Standard Liege in fourth place.

However, it will have been a monumental day for him. He’s finally made his long-awaited return after a horror ACL tear, and will now be focused on breaking into the starting XI with the Belgian Pro League side.

Kouassi has been challenged by Genk to prove his worth.

Genk sporting director, Dimitri de Conde, has already challenged Kouassi to prove his worth (Metro). The idea seems to be that if he performs well over the next four months then he’ll be signed permanently by the club.

Yet we might also want to keep an eye on his development over the next few months ourselves. Kouassi was in good form before his injury, and finally looked like he was going to get the chance to make his big Celtic breakthrough.

If he manages to recover and make an impact in Belgium, returning to his best form in the process, it’s not inconceivable that he gets another chance to impress in Glasgow.

Kouassi warming-up in Leipzig (Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)

It seems distant and perhaps even premature. He has a lot of catching up to do with regards to his fitness and a lot of convincing to do before he can prove he’s worth another shot.

Genk also have an option to buy in his contract (BBC). Therefore, if he does do well there then there’s a good chance they take him on permanently.

But this is a good first step for the Ivorian. He’s back on the pitch – something we couldn’t say for almost a year-and-a-half.