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Celtic must swap James Forrest for Mohamed Elyounoussi this weekend

James Forrest of Celtic in action during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and St Mirren at Celtic Park on January 23, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Is the stage set for Mohamed Elyounoussi to earn his Celtic debut?

James Forrest of Celtic in action during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and St Mirren at Celtic Park on January 23, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

If we're honest, Celtic winger James Forrest hasn't been looking like the man who won Player of the Year last season.

The 28-year-old had been struggling for the Hoops in recent weeks and brought his indifferent form on international duty, resulting in a poor showing versus Russia on Friday, before Scotland boss Steve Clarke dropped him entirely for the 4-0 defeat by Belgium at Hampden Park last night.

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Forrest is an exceptional player and his form - and goals - for Celtic down the years reflect his brilliance, but perhaps Neil Lennon should give him another rest this weekend.

The Lennoxtown gem, who scored 20 goals for club and country last season, played the equivalent of 50 full matches for the Bhoys during the 2018-19 campaign [Soccerway] and burnout was inevitable at some point.

 

Fortunately for Celtic, they have a number of potential replacements for Saturday's trip to Hamilton and a certain Mohamed Elyounoussi could earn a debut.

The Southampton winger, who cost the Premier League outfit £16 million last summer [Football Scotland], joined Lennon's side on loan toward the end of the transfer window and unleashing him this weekend makes sense.

Lennon elected against throwing him in at the deep end against Rangers before the international break and an away day at Hamilton - who have won once this season - would be a smooth introduction to life in the Scotland.

It's going to be a long season for Celtic as they bid for a fourth successive domestic treble, while making the latter stages of the Europa League again.

Mohamed Elyounoussi of Southampton (R) battles with Aymeric Laporte (C) and Vincent Kompany of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Manchester City at...

They're going to need a red-hot Forrest, but they won't need him this weekend.

The Hoops manager has a chance to give arguably his best player a much-needed rest, while giving a new signing a taste of things to come over the next eight months. It's a fair trade.

In time, Forrest will remind Scotland why he was Player of the Year last term.

James Forrest of Celtic FC during a UEFA Europa League qualification match between AIK and Celtic FC at Friends arena on August 29, 2019 in Solna, Sweden.

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