Southampton attacker Mohamed Elyounoussi has somewhat surprisingly emerged back onto the radars of two Premier League clubs expected to challenge for European places.
Elyounoussi has struggled to make much of an impression since joining Southampton in June 2018. He failed to score in his debut year and spent the next two seasons on loan at Celtic. His form in Scotland was better, but there was no permanent transfer after the loan.
Thus, the Norway international is now back on the South Coast. He has been given a second chance with Southampton, who still have him under contract until 2023.
That chance seems to be one he is grasping. He has started five Premier League games so far this season, scoring his first goal in the competition in August. It followed a stunning showing in the Carabao Cup against Newport County, in which he scored a hat-trick and set up two more goals.
Southampton have struggled on the whole since, so Elyounoussi has had to wait to build up momentum. But he showed he is keeping sharp by netting a brace for Norway against Montenegro in the October international break.
He subsequently completed 90 minutes against Leeds at the weekend upon the return to club duties. Southampton earned their first win in the league in that game, so things could be looking up again.
That could definitely be the case for Elyounoussi himself if the latest reports about his future are true.
According to the Sunday Mirror, Arsenal and Leicester are keeping tabs on the 27-year-old.
The Gunners are seeking extra attacking quality after missing out on European football for the first time since the mid-1990s. Goalscoring has been a bit of a problem for them, so they require players who can put the ball in the net and those who can set the strikers up.
The Foxes, meanwhile, do have European football on offer at present. But they are still in need of another winger for squad depth. They did not use their option to buy last season’s loanee Cengiz Under and failed to sign anyone else in his position.
Elyounoussi has previous with Arsenal, Leicester
Capable of playing as a winger or, on occasion, a centre-forward, Elyounoussi could provide cover in the areas Arsenal and Leicester feel they need to reinforce.
Either could be interesting options for Elyounoussi to consider if he is confident he would get enough gametime. At present, he is playing regularly for Southampton, but that may not be the case for too much longer.
Interestingly, Arsenal and Leicester were both linked with Elyounoussi before he came to the Premier League with Southampton. Despite the time he has taken to get up to speed in England, it seems he has remained in their thoughts.
Southampton have seen many of the players they have brought to the Premier League snapped up by rivals higher in the standings in recent years. Elyounoussi may be the next to follow such a path.
Although, it would be somewhat disappointing for Saints to lose him so soon after finally seeing his better form.