Outcast Southampton winger Mohamed Elyounoussi appears to be flourishing during his time away from the south coast. His numbers at loan side Celtic have been impressive, but he also put in a solid shift on the international stage on Sunday.
As Norway made easy work of securing a 4-0 win over Romania in the UEFA Nations League, Elyounoussi dropped into midfield to operate behind his side’s double strike force. Alexander Sorloth and Erling Haaland both played superbly up front, but the midfield four helped command the play.
Elyounoussi could be important for Hasenhuttl
Although he wasn’t directly involved in any of the four Norway goals scored, Elyounoussi arrived with a lot of creativity. According to Sofascore, the Saints loanee made two key passes and 100% of his shots hit the target. He also contributed two tackles, one clearance and won 6/9 ground duels.
Elyounoussi boasts extreme versatility and could be an important asset to Ralph Hasenhuttl once he returns from his spell in Scotland. Not only can he play across any position in the front three, but is comfortable being deployed at both left and right midfield as well as in a more attacking role.
The 26-year-old was shipped out on loan after failing to make an impact at St Mary’s. However, since he joined Celtic he has unleashed his true potential. Last season, he tallied seven goals and six assists in just 20 appearances for the Hoops and has already made three contributions in front of goal this campaign (via Transfermarkt).
Whilst Theo Walcott is only with Southampton for the short-term and Nathan Tella yet to really prove himself, Elyounoussi could slot into the right side of the team when he returns. His goal and assist return alongside his driven work ethic will have certainly turned Hasenhuttl’s head.