On-loan Celtic forward Mohamed Elyounoussi has struck seven times in only ten appearances since joining from Southampton.
Added to this are four assists, the latest to help Scott Brown complete the rout of Hibs in Saturday night’s Betfred Cup semi-final.
The alarming news for Celtic’s opponents, including Lazio tomorrow evening at the Olympic Stadium in Rome, is that he feels he can still get a lot better. Judging by his recent rate of improvement, it means he could be firing on all cylinders in time for the Betfred Cup final against Rangers next month.
“The boys have made me feel at home and I am feeling good on and off the pitch,” he said. “I feel I am getting to the levels I want to be at. I think if I was at my top level I would have scored even more goals against Hibs at the weekend.
“I think over the next few months I can get even better. I think with the coaches we have here then I am confident I can get stronger. I came here to get some minutes and to try to help the team win some silverware.”
Elyounoussi is relishing playing regularly again after a frustrating campaign at Southampton last season. When he did play, it was more often than not after coming off the bench. It wasn’t what the 25-year-old had expected after signing for the club in a £16 million deal from Basel.
He does not know what will happen when his loan spell at Celtic finishes at the end of this season and is simply enjoying feeling wanted by Neil Lennon. He is certainly repaying his current manager’s faith, his latest goals coming in a man-of-the-match performance against Hibs last weekend.
He is bound to be an integral figure tomorrow night in Rome as Celtic seek to unlock the Lazio defence in their Europa League return match.
“All I think about is what is going to happen in the next training session and then the next game,” said Elyounoussi. “I never look too far ahead. When the season is finished I will sit down and look at all of my options, but right now I am just happy to be here and playing for Celtic. I think I need to focus on the here and now and not the future or the past.
“After everything I have been through in the last 12 months and not playing at Southampton, it makes me appreciate what I have even more. It makes winning semi-finals and playing in Europe even more special for me.
“I really appreciate how often the gaffer has played me since I have arrived and that belief he has in me. I am happy to repay him by scoring some goals and having some assists.”