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Elyounoussi: Messages from Celtic fans helped me decide to stay

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FOLLOWING the postponement of the 2019/20 season back in early March, Mohamed Elyounoussi was inundated with positive messages from Celtic supporters.

The Hoops fans told the Norwegian internationalist how much they appreciated his contribution to the club’s nine-in-a-row success, and they also urged him to extend his stay at Paradise as the team go for 10 consecutive league titles.

And having signed a new season-long loan deal with the Scottish champions from Southampton, the 27-year-old admitted that the love from the Celtic fans was a major factor in his decision to stay with the Hoops.

“I’m very happy,” Elyounoussi told Celtic TV. “It’s a proud moment for myself and my family. We’re very happy in Glasgow. I enjoyed my first year here. I enjoy working with the coaching staff and the players, everyone at the club, so it was an easy choice really.

“Since the league stopped, I got a lot of positive messages from fans. They told me what they thought about me, and for me to take another year, and I have to say, that made the choice even easier.

“It’s hard to say no when you get so many messages and feedback – love from the fans, and obviously I will try to give something back. The fans, of course, are one of the reasons why I’m staying here another year.”

Elyounoussi made 20 appearances for Celtic and scored seven goals, helping Neil Lennon’s side win the League Cup and clinch their ninth Premiership title in a row.

The Norwegian attacker also had to deal with a frustrating injury last season, but having worked hard during the lockdown and now back in training at Lennoxtown, Elyounoussi is determined to make an even bigger contribution in the 2020/21 campaign.

“It is an interesting season ahead, and I think I can do more than what I did last season,” he admitted. “Obviously, the injury stopped everything for me, so I will try to give even more from myself this year.

“In the end, I just want to talk with my feet. Me and the boys have been working hard in the break. The physical coaches have been doing exceptional work to give us work at home, and we’ve been training well, and now that we’re back training. It’s been good and we’re looking forward for the season to start.”

Elyounoussi is well aware of just how important the forthcoming season is to the Celtic support, and he’s looking forward to the historic challenge ahead.

“It’s maybe one of the biggest seasons in the history of Celtic, so no pressure!” he said. “But we’re looking forward to it. We’ve been working really hard and I’m sure all the other teams in the league have been working hard to try to stop us. But we’re going to give everything. I hope that we can play the games with our fans as soon as possible, because with their help, hopefully we can achieve something great.

“I’m actually surprised at how good the passing drills and the touches from everyone have been, even though it’s been over two months without football, so everyone is determined and motivated to give their best.

“The winning mentality is still there, even if it is just a passing drill, or when we start playing games in training. Everyone wants to win all the time, and that’s going to help us hopefully achieve our goals.”

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