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Mohammed Elyounoussi Targeted By Arsenal And Leicester
Monday, 18th Oct 2021 09:15

According to reports in the media Southampton wide man Moi Elyounoussi is on the radar of both Arsenal and Leicester City, despite having barely played for Saints since signing from Basel three years ago.

Moi Elyounoussi is at the moment far from being a success at St Mary's, his first season after arriving in the summer of 2018 saw him play just 16 games in the Premier league and only 3 of them, all substitute appearances came in the second half of the season.

The following two seasons saw him shipped off to Celtic, where he was far from an unmitigated success, his season was interrupted by injury, but even when fit he struggled to get in the starting XI in the SPL side.

Celtic took him back last season but again he was far from a certain starter in the League with 21 games plus another 13 off the bench with only 10 goals.

This season Saints decided to keep him at the club and boost squad numbers balancing the fact that Celtic were only paying half of his wages and we wanted to avoid the issues of the second half of last season when our small squad could not cope with a big injury list.

This saw him come back to favour with Ralph Hasenhuttl and after a hat trick in the demolition of Newport County in the Carabao Cup, he got a start at Newcastle United and scored his first goal for the club.

But it is a big surprise that he be linked with both Arsenal & Leicester City, although he has had some more game time of late his performances have been far from completely convincing and he may find it hard to get in the starting line up now Stuart Armstrong is fit again and when James Ward Prowse returns from suspension.

The link with Leicester is perhaps predictable, Brendan Rodgers has a record of signing players from Saints dating back to his Liverpool days when he signed 3 in the summer of 2014, Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert & Dejan Lovren, prompting speculation he was living in the woods beside Staplewood and then followed that up the following summer with Nathan Clyne.

This summer he returned to St Mary's and signed Ryan Bertrand & Jannik Vestergaard and there seems to be something about Southampton that Brendan Rodgers likes.

But if the link to the Foxes is easily made, the one to Arsenal is a little baffling, if the Gunners have ambition to restore themselves to their former glory why would they be after a player who at 27 has not proved himself at the highest level.

From a Saints perspective the hope is that Elyounoussi suddenly bursts into life and shows the St Mary's faithful just why we signed him, he has done so in little bursts, but he is yet to take the game by the scruff of the neck and really show what he can do.

With a salary said to be around the £60k a week mark, I would say Saints would be keen to get him off the books unless there is a real period where he shows he can put in a good run of form and if the rumours are true then that give him 12 Premier League games before the window closes.

Perhaps the best result all round would be a move, the player himself could kick start a career that has gone off track in the last three years and Saints could recoup some of the £16 million we paid for him and get his wages off the books.

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stmichael added 10:31 - Oct 18
There are a lot of assumptions and personal
opinions in this article which I doubt reflect what Saints or Celtic and certainly the Norwegian National team think about this excellent player.
60k a week is a moderate salary for a decent premier league player these days so I ping money comes into it either.
He is an excellent player with an excellent attitude and in my opinion he has had a very good start to the season.
He’s been like a new signing and I am not at all surprised that teams considerably better than us are looking at him as his contract is running down.
I would be happier to read he has signed a contract extension.
Excellent again on Saturday too..

felly1 added 10:39 - Oct 18
He was very good against Leeds and he's definitely improved since he came back from Celtic.
Still think we need to see a run of decent performances before we can make a true judgement call on whether it'll be better to offload or see him as an integral part of the team.

KOTS added 10:57 - Oct 18
some slightly bizzare takes in here, to see a player linked away after only a few good games for us is frustrating but to insinuate that 10 goals in 21 starts is in some way a poor return (15 goal contributions in 34 games if we include assists and sub appearances... still a goal contribution more or less every other game..) in fact he was celtics second top goalscorer, is currently our top goalscorer and had another excellent game on saturday. agree that the links don't make sense and I doubt personally that leicester or arsenal will be after him, however it's definitely difficult to claim as you have that he's had a poor goalscoring return in the last couple of years or that he has been unconvincing for us this season (aside from a few games where he was played out of position in a central midfield role)

SaintNick added 12:21 - Oct 18
Saint Michael

Of course it is an article based on assumptions and personal opinions and just as much as I can't say who actually agrees with me or not nor can you, many of the Celtic fans comments i have read had mixed feelings about Elyounoussi, he started 21 games last season but also came off the bench in another 13 so 10 goals doesn't look so good the feeling was he was OK when Celtic were on top, not so good if they weren;t.

I'm not sure what Norway think of him.

From a Saints perspective I don't think he has been excellent this season, apart from the goal at Newcastle he has not scored or had an assist in either this or his first spell.

Saturday he was OK but he had plenty of room and time against a Leeds side who were the worst we have played this season.

As a wide player he won't get in the team with everyone fit, Stuart Armstrong will play on the right and Redmond on the left, Redmond was a tthe heart of everything on Saturday he had an end product and that is what Elyounoussi lacks.

I hope he proves me wrong, but at the moment he is another Boufal, occasional flashes of genius but mostly innaffective.

As he is on £60k a week i would not be happy to see him sign a new deal at the moment, make or break season for him, that type of salary may be the norm these days, but not at clubs like us unless it is for a player who is a nailed on starter and going to do something.

So far we have not had one game where anyone has gone to the pub after and raved about Elyounoussi's displays as a match winning performance and by now they really should have

Block8 added 12:40 - Oct 18
He has performed very well at international level and clubs would have their views on him on this, as much as club form.a
He has attributes that would quite possibly thrive in a more attacking approach, our wingers are inclined to move inside or drop to cover the attacking full backs. Managers have differing opinions on players best positions and attributes, which is why we see so many transfers that, maybe seem strange?

Colburn added 12:47 - Oct 18
Nick, if Leeds were that poor then you can't claim we have had a solid start to the season with this win, against a poor Leeds and with lots of space.. You yourself claim we have had a very difficult start to the season and have already made up your mind about him.. How can you give some players years and then others a few 'difficult' weeks in making your judgement.
If you keep on about trusting Ralph then trust him and his opinion and use of Elyonoussi as well as the same with Redmond. I think Moi has been a very useful addition and it's not just about goal and assist stats. For instance, the pass by Djenepo will have no impact on his stats yet it was the pass which created the goal. Elyonoussi is a good player and I'm not surprised to see clubs interested in him.

SaintPaulVW added 09:15 - Oct 19
He's a good addition to our squad. Whether he can nail down a starting space is up to him.

If he isn't happy with what may be a bit part role then a transfer may be best for both sides. However it is very early in the season and as we saw last year, team and individual performane can change spectacularly.

KriSaint added 01:08 - Oct 20
Surprising rumours, but they will give the lad some (extra) confidence if he gets notified about them.
I think he looks pretty confident and tries hard for our team, and he is always all ears when Ralph calls him to the line for instructions. He is a steady starter for Norway, who have one of the most grumpy managers in world football, Staale Solbakken.
I hope he deservedly will be in every match squad till' the window opens, and that he will play well, because he absolutely can play well.
That said, a fit Stuart A. is clearly in front of Moi in the pecking order in my book.

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