There’s no doubt that Mohamed Elyounoussi’s best Celtic performance came in last week’s 2-0 win over CFR Cluj.
The Europa League dominance from the Hoops saw us rack up a fine three points against Dan Petrescu’s side. Elyounoussi put the game beyond the Romanians with a deflected effort after Odsonne Edouard put us on the path to victory in the first half.
It’s been a bit of a slow integration into the first-team for the on-loan Southampton man. He previously played against Hamilton, Rennes, and Partick Thistle respectively, but he failed to stand-out in any of those contests.
However, the aggression he showed against Cluj was a joy to behold. And, speaking to this week’s Celtic View (Volume 55, Issue 14, Page 22), Elyounoussi touched on the “amazing” feeling of becoming a Parkhead hero.
“It feels amazing, and I’ve been waiting for it for a couple of games now. I got a bit lucky with the deflection, but I knew from that point on that we were going to win the game.
“I feel like I’m getting better and better with every game. (Cluj) was maybe my best game in a Celtic shirt so far and I’ll try to get better. So I was happy with my performance. I’m happy for the team and to contribute to getting the three points.
“The crowd were amazing as well and I don’t think you get this kind of atmosphere at many other places in Europe.”
Mikey Johnston has a battle on his hands against Mo
Mikey Johnston will surely be close to a return at this point, but will he go straight back into the side? Johnston was incredibly impressive at Ibrox, and bagged an assist for Odsonne Edouard’s opener.
However, no longer is the left-wing position his to keep. He has a massive rival in his hands in Southampton’s Elyounoussi. The Norwegian was a serious star against CFR Cluj, and even looked like one of the only positives against Livingston on Sunday too.
If Johnston is fit when the international break is over, does he just come straight back in? Would that honestly be fair on Elyounoussi if that was the case?
Neil Lennon stated before the Cluj game that he was pleased with how Elyounoussi was performing (Celtic TV). He also praised the fact he was getting more and more up to speed. It very much sounded as though the gaffer was backing him to shine.
And it creates a really interesting dilemma for the Celtic manager. Johnston, even if he hasn’t been in the team over the last month, is still here for the long-term. The obvious cons of choosing a loan player over a talent we have for the long-term are obvious.
But Elyounoussi is here to play football. Taking everything into considering, this is a huge boost for Celtic. The depth they suddenly have down the left is incredible. Hopefully, we now start seeing plenty of productivity down that side when both are fully up to speed.