It took him a while to get going during his second spell at Rugby Park, but Youssouf Mulumbu is firing on all cylinders for Kilmarnock now. It’s just a shame his short-term loan deal is about to come to an end.
The former Norwich City man has been on loan at Rugby Park from Celtic since January, having left Ayrshire and moving to Glasgow last summer. The move hasn’t really worked out, with Mulumbu finding himself back with Steve Clarke’s men in the winter.
He needed time to get match fitness, but since he has found that, Mulumbu has been brilliant for Killie. He’s back to playing the way he was last year and supporters of his temporary home will want him to stay beyond this season.
He’ll return to Celtic this summer though with an uncertain future. Just now he is unlikely to break into the squad, but a change in manager for the Hoops could change that.
It begs the question, what comes next for Mulumbu?
Mulumbu doesn’t seem to have a Parkhead future
Even with a new boss, Mulumbu might not break into the Celtic squad. They have Scott Brown, Callum McGregor and Oliver Ntcham for that role. Even squad player Nir Biton is likely to be ahead of him, plus the Bhoys could decide to bring in a fresh midfielder.
It looks like the Congolese battler will be on the lookout for a new club. His contract at Parkhead ends in the summer of 2020, so his parent club could demand a fee for him. If they do want to shift him out the door, it may be another loan deal.
That means a return to Ayrshire for a third spell could be on. Mulumbu is loved in Kilmarnock and has played some of his best football in years at Rugby Park. He’ll be 33 next season, so every minute of playing time is precious for him. Killie could guarantee him plenty of them.
Of course there will be other suitors interested in him, some who could perhaps afford to take Mulumbu away from Glasgow permanently. Whilst Killie would love to have him back, it is unlikely they wouldn’t be challenged for him.
For Mulumbu though, it looks likely that Parkhead won’t be his home next season. At his age he’ll want regular football and Celtic can’t guarantee that. His current adopted club could though, but others will also be keen on the Congolese midfielder.
It’ll be interesting to see what strip Mulumbu is wearing come August.