Celtic’s alternative to John McGinn, Youssouf Mulumbu, has signed for French third tier side US Orleans. In the summer of 2018, Celtic were involved in a prolonged pursuit of McGinn but the deal could not be concluded, resulting in tensions for Brendan Rodgers and then-CEO Peter Lawwell.
Now, Mulumbu has signed for the team south of Paris as he makes his comeback to football. The club announced his signing on Thursday but the 36-year-old was not included in the team to face Berrichonne de Châteauroux on Friday.
🚨 𝐎𝐅𝐅𝐈𝐂𝐈𝐄𝐋 🚨
𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐬𝐬𝐨𝐮𝐟 𝐌𝐮𝐥𝐮𝐦𝐛𝐮 devient Jaunes & Rouges ! 🐝
— US Orléans (@US_Orleans) September 21, 2023
The veteran midfielder joined Celtic at the close of the 2018 summer window after leaving Kilmarnock. He had been a revelation for Steve Clarke’s Killie, scoring in a win over Celtic at Rugby Park earlier in the year.
Mulumbu was a free agent at the time of signing for Celtic and at the time was seen as the alternative to McGinn who opted for Aston Villa rather than his boyhood heroes, Celtic. The signing was underwhelming and looked as if Celtic had run out of options on what was a miserable transfer window for the club – aside from signing Odsonne Edouard.
Mulumbu his debut at Rugby Park as Celtic fell to a late winner from Stuart Findlay. Mulumbu and Aaron Tshibola were embroiled in a number of tussles as the midfielder lost his head at times in the fixture as he felt the backlash from the home support.
Mulumbu’s involvement in the Europa League versus Salzburg proved that Mulumbu wasn’t going to be a starter at the club. Ryan Christie’s emergence as well as Celtic’s wobbly form in the league limited Mulumbu’s appearances and come the turn of the year, he was loaned to Killie again.