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Our view: Lennon has the perfect chance to bring Mohamed Elyounoussi in to his Celtic team

Mohamed Elyounoussi of FC Basel celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-1 during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Manchester City and FC Basel at Etihad...

Injury issues mean that the Celtic boss should turn to the Norwegian international.

Mohamed Elyounoussi of FC Basel celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-1 during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Manchester City and FC Basel at Etihad...

With Celtic winger Mikey Johnston ruled out of this weekend's match away to Hamilton, manager Neil Lennon must find a solution on the left wing.

He could choose to bring in Lewis Morgan, or even Scott Sinclair, but he should look no further than summer signing Mohamed Elyounoussi.

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Signed by the Hoops just before the end of the summer transfer window, he's at Celtic Park for the entire season on loan.

Yet to make his debut, he's a talent who has the ability to make an immediate impact in the Hoops first-team.

His playing history for clubs such as Basel and Molde suggests he can provide plenty of goals and assists in Celtic colours this season.

Just last summer he was signed by Southampton for a reported fee of £16m (BBC).

With difficult tests on the horizon at home and abroad, Lennon needs to get the player up to full speed as soon as possible.

A match against a perennial bottom six club in the Scottish Premiership couldn't be a much gentler introduction.

 

What's been said about his ability?

Elyounoussi has certainly earned initial positive reviews.

Celtic assistant manager John Kennedy recently spoke to in house club media about his style of play and what he could bring to the team.

As quoted by The Celtic View (11/09 print edition, pages 6 & 7), the coach said: "We have wingers who are fast and direct on the outside, whereas Elyounoussi is a guy who likes to come in off the sides.

"He has a great goal record and is a guy who likes to get goals. He shoots from outside the box very well and gets in the box for crosses, so he’s an intelligent footballer.

"We can see that in the training and we can also see he’s going to be a good player or us.

"He has quality, he’s physically very good, quick, dynamic and aggressive. He and Moritz Bauer did some extra work to get the conditioning right for the games that are coming up now."

That sounds like the kind of thing that could add a real fresh spark to the Hoops attack. Not that it's been found lacking so far this season.

Having different styles of attackers can be a great benefit when figuring out how to penetrate an organised and defensively minded side.

Basel's Norwegian forward Mohamed Elyounoussi (L) after scoring a goal vies with Arsenal's Brazilian defender Gabriel during the UEFA Champions league Group A football match between FC...

Is he ready?

The winger hasn't started a match so far this season for club or country, so there's no doubt he has a bit of work to do on the fitness side of things.

However, as Kennedy notes he's been putting in the hard yards to get himself prepared for challenges ahead.

He isn't going to get any fitter on the bench.

With a stiff test away to Rennes on Thursday, it could be seen as a risk to play a returning from injury Mikey Johnston or the inexperienced Lewis Morgan.

Elyounoussi is the best bet for that one too, having scored nine goals and assisted three times in UEFA competition so far in his career.

If he's going to play in France though, he needs minutes in Hamilton.

Will Lennon name him on Saturday? All eyes will be on the teamsheet for news of a much-anticipated debut.

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