He might well make it. The question is, should he?
Is it a good idea to play a player who’s not fully fit? Of course it isn’t. Yet even if Moussa were 100% fit, would we want to interrupt the current flow of the team? Leigh Griffiths has been excellent of late. He’s scoring goals, he’s laying goals on, he’s justified his inclusion.
A place on the bench would be perfect for Moussa. From there, he could wreck a special kind of havoc. Imagine for a second that we take the lead and McInnes has to change up his game plan. He will be guided, in part, by what we can do to counter whatever he comes up with. If he looks at our subs bench and sees Moussa Dembele on there, do you really think he’ll have the stones to sacrifice a defensive player for an attacking one?
That’s a potent weapon to have. Even if he wasn’t fit, you could see the manager including him just to add the fear factor, just to psych McInnes out.
What a season Moussa has had. A debut season at that. His goals have been crucial to getting us here. His overall link-up play has been extraordinary. At Hampden, in the semi-final, he was tearing Sevco to shreds before he had to go off. He was bullying, harassing, terrorising their defence. His lay off for Callum’s goal was superb. No wonder their fans were happy to see the back of him that day. They were lucky he didn’t play at Ibrox, although Leigh was exceptional.
He, too, has had a pretty good season. In the last few games he’s certainly reminded us, and the manager, what we’ve been missing. I still think it a great shame that Brendan won’t accommodate them both in the same team, perhaps by playing Leigh out wide. When they are on the pitch together they can combine for deadly effect; the goal in the League Cup semi-final was a case in point, a beautiful construct of one, finished by the other.
As McInnes sweats over whether to include the club’s (former) captain in the line-up, Brendan may well have an altogether nicer dilemma. I expect that it’s Leigh who will get the nod, and he should. Leigh has earned the spot with recent displays and with his injury situation not quite resolved it would feel like we were rushing Moussa back and we want him fully rested and ready for our assault on the Champions League next year.
I hope Moussa is fit enough to get on the park at some stage though.
He was instrumental in getting us here and deserves to play a part on the day.