Celtic

Flashback: Jo Inge Berget flopped at Celtic before coming back to haunt them

In our latest instalment of the Flashback series, we take a look back at a certain moment and look at how things might have changed those initial reactions.

Celtic have worked the loan market excellently this summer to bring in Mohamed Elyounoussi from Southampton, with the Norwegian winger already on seven goals for the club after only 10 appearances following his double against Hibernian in last weekend’s Betfred Cup semi-final, as per TransferMarkt.

The 25-year-old’s scoring feats appear all the more remarkable considering that he failed to hit the net once for his parent club in 19 games last season.

Elyounoussi is not the first winger from Norway to be loaned to the Hoops by a club playing in the English leagues, but he has already been far more successful than the last player to fit that category.

In July 2014, Ronny Deila brought Jo Inge Berget to Parkhead on a six-month loan deal, as reported by the Daily Mail.

Like Elyounoussi, Berget came to Celtic after a season of struggle in the Premier League, having played just twice for Cardiff as they were relegated from the top flight five years ago.

Deila hailed the on-loan Norwegian as a “very intelligent player” and a “perfect match” for the Hoops (as per the Daily Mail) and the winger enjoyed a memorable home debut, scoring twice in a 6-1 demolition of Dundee United in his third appearance for the club.

If anyone thought that would signal the start of a prosperous time for Berget at Parkhead, though, they would have been sorely mistaken.

He was substituted in each of his subsequent three games, including both legs of the Champions League play-off defeat to Maribor, and had lost his place in the team following the September international break. [via TransferMarkt]

For the remainder of 2014, he would only muster two more substitute appearances for the Hoops, getting 13 minutes off the bench in a 2-1 win at St Mirren and a paltry two minutes in a Europa League victory over Dinamo Zagreb. [via TransferMarkt]

He returned to Cardiff in January 2015 following the expiry of his loan at Celtic and the Wales-based club soon cancelled his contract, as per BBC.

He failed to win over many of the Hoops faithful, with some fans cheering ironically when he was substituted before half-time in a game at Dundee, as noted by the Daily Record.

Berget then joined Malmo, who in a twist of fate would meet Celtic in the Champions League play-offs in August 2015.

Ahead of that tie, he told the Daily Record, “I felt I deserved another shot at Celtic” and added: “I’d like to show Celtic they were wrong about me and I’ll have a bit of extra motivation for this game because I have a point to prove.”

The Norwegian duly delivered, scoring two away goals for the Swedish club in their 3-2 defeat in the first leg on his return to Parkhead and helping Malmo to a 2-0 win in the return fixture to consign the Hoops to the Europa League for a second successive season, as per BBC.

Berget ultimately had the last laugh on Celtic that year, but his time in Glasgow was short and not so sweet, and now looks even more underwhelming in the context of how brilliantly his fellow countryman Elyounoussi has been performing in his loan spell for the Hoops.

Celtic fans, how did you rate Berget during his time at the club? Give us your views in the comments section below!

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Flashback: Jo Inge Berget flopped at Celtic before coming back to haunt them
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