Celtic will be up against Kilmarnock later today and it’s a game where Celtic fans will be looking to edge one step closer to their eighth straight Scottish Premier League title. The Bhoys have stuttered recently, drawing two of their last three games 0-0, and they’ve hardly covered themselves in glory.
Meanwhile, Kilmarnock have failed to do much better. The Rugby Park side haven’t been able to match the levels of the start of the season when they were competing at the very top of the table, and Steve Clarke looked to address that in the January window when he loaned in Youssouf Mulumbu from the Hoops. Ahead of today’s clash, we’ll be looking at Mulumbu, and comparing him with Olivier Ntcham.
The French midfielder is a quality player on his day for the Bhoys and has it all in his locker to dominate in Scottish football. However, in the last few months and for most of this season the former Manchester City academy graduate has looked well below par and not been able to match the levels expected of a Celtic player, with his most recent display against Hibs seeing him subbed after just an hour.
The Frenchman may have been mightily impressive in his first season at the club but then in his second season, this season, things haven’t quite clicked. Brendan Rodgers’ exit may have had an effect on the classy midfield man, but his current form cannot be explained with any excuses and if he doesn’t sharpen up soon then the fans’ calls may intensify to the point that he’s sold.
TT GRADE: C
Mulumbu is one who the majority of Premier League fans will remember and know of thanks to his time with West Brom and Norwich, as well as his time at PSG. Now, though, the midfielder resides in Scotland, and after impressing for Kilmarnock last season he made the move to Parkhead, where things haven’t worked out quite as well. In January, he was loaned back to Rugby Park, and that loan could have been a mistake on the Bhoys’ part.
Whilst Clarke would have been more than happy to take the veteran midfielder back until the end of the season, his future surely lies at Parkhead. Since he made the temporary move back to Killie he’s done well, and he grabbed his first goal and assist of his second spell when he contributed towards two of his side’s five against Hamilton Accies a few weeks back. Now, though, he should start getting his head down and prepare for life at Celtic in the summer, as he must be fancied over Ntcham.
TT GRADE: B
Whilst Ntcham has all the talent and quality to succeed at the club, his poor work ethic over the last few games have let a lot of fans down, and with Mulumbu starting to find some form now he’s back at Killie, the two could swap roles next season.
There wouldn’t be too many complaints from the fans should Mulumbu be given a Parkhead chance, meanwhile, Ntcham is quickly running out of opportunities himself.
Celtic fans, do you miss Mulumbu? Killie fans, do you think he’s all that? Join the discussion by commenting below…
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