Celtic have a bad record when it comes to former players coming back to play against them. They generally come in the form of strikers as well.
After poor form and injury Bangura went on loan to his old club AIK last summer. He is now on a loan spell with Celtic’s opponent’s tomorrow night, Elfsborg.
It is understandable why Mo Bangura playing tomorrow night, whilst he is still a Celtic player, would be an issue for the Neil Lennon. On a professional level it seems unprofessional but for me it’s more of the jinx issue that is of concern.
I’m sure there are quite a few people thinking “what if?” It’s for that reason alone that there is concern.
The likelihood of Bangura playing against Celtic would have been so slim that you wouldn’t have though about putting a clause in his loan deal. Though it does make you wonder if it should be a mandatory clause.
Elfsborg have been making sounds that they will play Bangura and probably will. On this side of the North Sea, there has been friendly advice from Celtic that this is unwise particularly where his Celtic career lies.
The Swedish club are perfectly within their rights to play him. You can also see why they would want to play him.
However, if Bangura were to say miss a penalty against Celtic or even score an own goal, there would be more than a few eyebrows raised. I’m not suggesting that this is some sinister plan of course but you can imagine how this might go down with the media and even UEFA nevermind getting the conspiracy theory badge.
With Bangura likely to face Celtic tomorrow night, as well as the second leg, there is no doubt that these fixtures now have a little bit more of an edge them. It’s not the kind of edge I particularly like though.
European matches are edgy enough as it is without one of your own players playing against you. If I was Lennon I would be fuming but perhaps this situation is something that the club will need to put down to experience.
It’s different when a player leaves a club permanently and comes back as an opponent. That is something out with your control.
It just doesnt’ feel right and that some lines are being crossed. If I were the man that agreed the terms of that loan, I would be thinking “I won’t make that mistake again.”
All we can hope for is for Celtic to go out and smash Elfsborg and put the fixture to bed. As for Bangura, he may never play for Celtic again.