Mohamed Elyounoussi explains what's going right after Celtic departure

By David Walton

September 6, 2021

Mohamed Elyounoussi has explained why things have suddenly started clicking for him after leaving Celtic in the summer.

Elyounoussi spent two years on loan in Glasgow under Neil Lennon and latterly John Kennedy. The 34-cap Norwegian international returned to Southampton back in June with 24 goals and 14 assists in 67 appearances [Transfermarkt].

However, despite the fact he generally impressed, you never got the feeling we saw the best of Moi. He also arrived at Celtic Park after a season in the wilderness with Southampton, where he signed from Basel in the summer of 2018.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Yet now he’s off to a flyer under Ralph Hasenhuttl this season. Elyounoussi has four goals and two assists in two games under the Saints boss, whilst also adding another goal to his name with Norway in Latvia last night.

Speaking about what’s changed at St Mary’s, however, Moi said the following via the Daily Echo: “Yeah, I remember when he (Hasenhuttl) came in we changed the system to 3-5-2 without any wingers, so I didn’t have any position really. It’s like he said as well, he was not focusing on what we were going to do with the ball, it was mainly without the ball.

“For myself, I think I’m strong defensively anyway, without the ball as well. I think I’ve shown him that this pre-season and he knows he can rely on me defensively as well, not only offensively. But with the ball we try to play more football, I get into pockets, that’s what I’m strong at, get the ball, turn and carry it, combination play with the strikers.

“I was quite bitter about leaving Celtic” | 67HH sits down with Jackie McNamara

“I was quite bitter about leaving Celtic” | 67HH sits down with Jackie McNamara
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“That’s what I’m enjoying the most and that’s what we’re going to do now. That’s why it’s the perfect match.”

Mohamed Elyounoussi never really fulfilled his Celtic potential

It just seemed as though Elyounoussi had more to give Celtic. Given the talent he has, he was far too inconsistent, especially during his second season in Glasgow.

Nothing seemed to come off for him, whilst he struggled to produce his best in a morale-sapping campaign under Lennon. It was no surprise to see him decide not to join up permanently in the end.

Had he been playing in a free-flowing Celtic side, things could’ve worked out better. But there’s no denying that Elyounoussi’s time in Glasgow has been tinged with regret. He may have left a title-winner after the curtailed 2019/20 campaign, but he never truly experienced glory days in Scotland.

Photo by Filip Filipovic/Getty Images

Now, he’s proving to be an influential player in the early days under Hasenhuttle. The Southampton boss has been playing him on the right flank interestingly. During Elyounoussi’s time at Celtic, it was the opposite side that he was given more often than now.

Regardless, things are looking up for him big time. It may only be two games in terms of his club performances so far. But what he has done is nail a place down in the Southampton squad.

That’s something he was so far away from when he first joined Celtic in 2019. Hopefully, the Norwegian can continue to bolster his reputation in the EPL. He certainly has the quality to do it.

In other news, Celtic Europa League squad confirmed for group stages