TENACIOUS midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu was signed by Brendan Rodgers on a free transfer from Kilmarnock in August 2018.

The 31-year-old anchorman arrived to bolster the squad, but he was heading for the exit only five months later as he returned to the Ayrshire club on loan for the remainder of the season.

Mulumbu, after making just three appearances with a total of 155 minutes game-time, saw his two-year deal scrapped at the conclusion of the campaign.

The DR Congo international, who kicked off his career at Paris Saint-Germain and then had spells at West Brom and Norwich City, was another mysterious capture around that period and failed to convince in his rare forays into the top side.

WHAT AM I DOING HERE? Youssouf Mulumbu looks puzzled.

He had come to Rodgers’ notice with a combative performance in a shock Killie 1-0 win at Rugby Park in February 2018 when he popped up unguarded in the box to score the points-clincher. The tough competitor had put himself about as he unsettled Scott Brown and Co in the club’s engine room.

However, he couldn’t replicate the sort of aggressive brand of football at Parkhead and his stay was all too brief.

At the time, Rodgers was sympathetic to the player’s cause and said: “Youssouf is at the age where he needs to play.

“He came in as a support player to the team, but he really needs to play.”

Mulumbu agreed a permanent switch to the Ayrshire club and on July 31 2021 returned to his homeland after signing a one-year contract with Saint-Éloi Lupopo. He left the club when his terms expired.

On September 21 2023, the ball-winner moved to French club Orleans on a one-year contract.

* TOMORROW: Don’t miss the adventures of another former Celt in CQN’s EXCLUSIVE series.

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