Former Celtic midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu makes controversial exit from Scottish football

By Euan Davidson

May 22, 2021

Former Celtic man Youssouf Mulumbu has left Kilmarnock, in a rather odd fashion.

The Brendan Rodgers signing, who made 3 appearances for the Bhoys, rejoined Kilmarnock for the 18-19 season. However, he seems to have left under a cloud following the first leg of Kilmarnock’s play-off against Dundee.

Killie lost the first leg 2-1 [BBC], but by the time the match kicked off, the former West Brom man was nowhere to be seen. Oddly, Tommy Wright has revealed that it was the kit man who gave the coaching staff the heads-up regarding Mulumbu’s disappearing act.

In quotes via the Independent, Wright said:

“He wouldn’t have played anyway. It doesn’t disappoint me because, having worked with him, it doesn’t disappoint me, it didn’t surprise me.

“The first we knew about it, the kit man flagged up that he had taken all his kit on Sunday.

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“Then we get a text message to say that he had to go to France. We said no to that, wanted him in for a meeting, didn’t turn up, it was a text message on Friday.

“Something got out in the press which must have come from his end because it wasn’t factually true, there were no conversations.

“He might have been on the bench but I have got other players, a good young player who can come in and replace him if I have to, there were other players who weren’t in the squad that I can put in there as well.

“It has certainly not disrupted anything that we had planned to do.”

Youssouf Mulumbu arrives at Celtic Park in 2018 / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Bizarre set of circumstances for former Celtic man

He seemed an odd signing for Celtic, even then. While no doubt an effective midfield presence, and possibly an able back-up to Scott Brown, the former Premier League ball-winner just never get a look-in. He ended up playing more times in the Europa League than the Premiership for the Bhoys.

So, a return to Killie seemed inevitable. Now 34, he still had plenty to contribute. But his appearances have dwindled over the season, with Alan Power and Gary Dicker preferred in the centre of the park. That seems to have disillusioned Mulumbu to the point of leaving without telling anyone.

If you ask us, that’s really sad. There’s surely not a particularly happy story here. While Wright has every reason to clear things up for the fans, there’s an unseemly feel as to how this has progressed in the media. It would’ve been easier, and probably more empathetic, to just list Mulumbu as being unavailable rather than airing out the whole drama in public.

As a former Celtic player, we genuinely hope he can get another club sorted out soon. Or, at the very least, an environment where he feels he can contribute.

Killie’s second leg against Dundee is on Monday evening.

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