Former Celtic star Kris Commons thinks the club should explore more loan signings from the fringes of English clubs after the emergence of Mohamed Elyounoussi, writing in his Scottish Daily Mail column (04/11 print edition, The Verdict supplement page 16).
The winger has enjoyed a monster start to the season and scored a double over the weekend to help us into the Scottish League Cup final.
Those efforts are part of a seven goal haul in total, supplemented by five assists, from just 12 appearances.
It’s a contribution that has caught the eye of many.
Commons is getting rather excited about what he’s got to offer and thinks he could just be one of many star players from the English leagues who could do a turn in Scotland.
As quoted by The Scottish Daily Mail (04/11 print edition, The Verdict supplement page 16), he said: “The signing of Mohamed Elyounoussi might just open up a whole new market for both of the Old Firm clubs to explore.
“You have to wonder — just how many more multi-million pound players are sitting on the shelves gathering dust down south.
“Elyounoussi has been a revelation for Celtic since joining on loan from Southampton, who paid £16million for his services just over a year ago.”
Is he right?
Commons is both right and wrong with his comments.
First of all, it’s not as if Elyounoussi is the first player we’ve signed on loan from England. It’s a transfer strategy we’ve been pursuing for years. Barely a transfer window goes by without us securing a player on loan from the Premier League.
The former Bhoy is perhaps overstating how new the market is.
However, it’s not too often we’ve gone for established players who have lost their way in the English top-flight. It’s usually young starlets with significant potential that catch our eye.
The impact that both Elyounoussi and Fraser Forster have made this season is significant.
As noted by Commons, in future, it might mean we are more open to spending a bit more money on loans in the future to bring in quality talents who aren’t finding regular first-team football.
There’s obviously a balance to be struck. We can’t overload our squad with loan players who are crucial to the team. It could leave us short and go against long-term plans.
However, a sprinkling of quality in key areas can really aid us both in domestic football and on the European scene.
This season it’s proving to be well worth the outlay on whatever their wages are.