MOHAMED ELYOUNOUSSI is a wanted man – by his Celtic team-mates.
The Norwegian international left-sided attacker is scheduled to return to Southampton at the end of the campaign when his second season-long loan deal expires.
Elyounoussi has provided some splashes of colour in an otherwise drab term for the Hoops with the quest for the historic tenth successive title buried under the rubble of inexplicable displays and disappointing results.
Neil Lennon lost the job he loved in February only two days after the unacceptable 1-0 loss to Ross County in Dingwall. The Highland strugglers also knocked the holders out of the Betfred League Cup in Glasgow in November to kick off angry scenes outside the stadium.
A summer of upheaval on and off the pitch will take place, but left-back Greg Taylor and his dressing room colleagues hope Elyounoussi can extend his stay at the the club.
CHEERS, MATE…Norwegian double-act Mohamed Elyounoussi and Kristoffer Ajer celebrate the striker’s second goal in the 6-0 win over Livingston.
The forward netted two superb efforts in the 6-0 victory over Livingston at the weekend to take his total to 19 for club and country in a difficult season.
Undoubtedly, his parent club will have taken note of their players exploits and could be set to give him his opportunity after paying Basel £16million for his services almost three years ago.
Scotland international defender Taylor, who replaced Diego Laxalt in the No.3 slot against Livi, said: “You need to ask Moi and the board what is going to happen.
“But we, obviously, always want to always keep our (best) players. If there is an opportunity further down the line for him to stay at the club, then I’m sure the boys would be happy with that. Moi is a talented boy.
“You don’t move for the money he has in his career without being so talented. He really has good quality in front of goal.”
HEAD MASTER…Mohamed Elyounoussi beats Filip Helander to score with a brilliant header in the 1-1 derby draw.
Taylor, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “We all rate him fully inside the dressing room. We’ve seen the levels of performances that he delivers in training every day and also in the matches.
“Moi enjoys it here. Everyone enjoys winning games and scoring goals.
“He’s very versatile and that is something that is very important both within the games and also for different games and systems for the manager to go with what he sees fit.
“It was a 4-3-3 against Livi for large parts of it and we caused them many problems.”
Elyounoussi will be looking forward to the forthcoming Scottish Cup fourth round encounter at Ibrox. Remarkably, he is the only Celtic players to score against Steven Gerrard’s side in three derby games this season.
After firing blanks in the 2-0 and 1-0 previous Premiership losses, the Norwegian netted with a brilliant flying header in the 1-1 draw last month.