Exclusive: McNamara believes Celtic dealt massive blow after official update

Jackie McNamara revealed that he believes Celtic have been dealt a massive blow as Mohamed Elyounoussi has been ruled out of Sunday’s showdown with Rangers.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Laura O’Leary, the former Parkhead hero admitted losing Elyounoussi to injury was a set-back as the attacker has improved during his time with the Hoops.

Celtic boss Neil Lennon officially revealed that the 25-year-old will miss Sunday’s game as he has been unable to overcome his recent foot injury.

McNamara acknowledged that Elyounoussi didn’t wow in Celtic’s 1-0 victory over Rangers earlier this month, but pointed out that was because he wasn’t fully fit.

When asked if it’s a massive blow for Celtic that Elyounoussi will miss the Old Firm Derby, McNamara told Football Insider: “Yeah, definitely.

“I think he has gotten better since he came on.

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“For the cup final, I don’t think he was fully fit as he came off at half-time, and obviously he hasn’t recovered properly.

“But I do think he is someone who after the winter break, will be firing on all cylinders.”

The 25-year-old, who is on loan from Southampton for the season, has featured 13 times across all competitions for Lennon’s side so far.

In those outings, Elyounoussi has managed to rack up seven goals as well as register six assists.

The Norway international still has a long time to run on his Southampton contract as it isn’t due to expire until 2023.

In other Celtic news, Hutton says that he’d be worried if he was one particular big-name star at Parkhead.