Youssouf Mulumbu’s departure to Kilmarnock came as a slight shock last night, as it came a tad out of the blue.

The Congolese midfielder made just three Celtic appearance after a successful nine-month spell at Killie last season. But, after failing to make any sort of sustained breakthrough, Mulumbu has been shifted back to Killie.

The Hoops-owned star still has 18 months remaining on his Parkhead deal. This doesn’t necessarily spell the end for him, and he can easily go about making an impression once more.

Youssouf Mulumbu totally bossed Olivier Ntcham last season (Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Brendan Rodgers claimed last month that Mulumbu only came to Celtic as a “support player”. Yet those words are a disservice to his talent. He can offer Celtic so much more than just cover when he’s on his game.

The former Norwich City star was a huge part of what made Steve Clarke’s Killie so successful last season. His physique and technical quality turned him into the perfect central midfielder in the Scottish Premiership. He even bagged a winner against Celtic at Rugby Park in a match he absolutely bossed.

His stunning Kilmarnock record

He made 20 Killie appearances last season. The Ayrshire side only lost three of them. His influence in the middle of the park dominated midfielders such as Olivier Ntcham and Scott Brown on his day. He was that good when on form.

But since appearing for Celtic at Rugby Park back in September, he hasn’t played another domestic match. That’s despite the fact he was one of the only players to roll his socks up in that match and battle for the team.

Now, he’s back at Killie looking to do damage once more. And, considering they’re only six points behind Celtic, he could easily help fire them into title-contention and prove Celtic wrong about what he can bring to the team.

Mulumbu was one of the only Celtic players to roll the socks up at Kilmarnock back in September (Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

It wouldn’t be surprising if he really makes the Premiership sit up and take notice again. He has that kind of ability, and deserves to have trust put in him. Trust that Rodgers clearly doesn’t have in the Congolese star.

That’s no slant on the Celtic manager. It’s always going to be difficult to put Mulumbu in ahead of top performers like Callum McGregor and Scott Brown. But he should certainly have been playing more than he has done this term.

On his day, he’s certainly no “support player”. He’ll likely prove that at Kilmarnock.

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