After work permit stood in his way of securing a temporary move to English Championship side, Blackburn Rovers, the 28-year-old opted against fighting for a place in Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic by sealing an ‘emergency loan deal’ to Hibs.
Now back with the man responsible for his move to Scotland in 2012, the defender has been praised for his impact in the past rather than the usual criticisms of his recent ‘high-profile mistakes’.
The 45-year-old gaffer said that his wonderful first years ‘at Celtic have been deleted from history’.
“He has quality. He has been at Celtic for four or five seasons now and, while it maybe hasn’t gone as well as he would have liked in the last couple of seasons, under me he was fantastic,” Lennon told Capital City Press.
“I think the first four years of his time at Celtic have been deleted from history, with the way people talk about him now. This is a guy who played in all my Champions League games and made the last 16.
“People always talk about the mistakes he has made of late, the high-profile mistakes, but we have all made them. I have made plenty! I played with Bobo [Balde] who had a few in his time – but I don’t think he gets derided as much as people tend to mock Efe.
“What I want to do is get him back playing and being successful for us and then go back to Celtic full of confidence.
''Efe was a guy who was at the heart of a lot of unbelievable results at Celtic. He has won the African Nations Cup with his country so he has great pedigree. He is only 28, he is at his peak and he will be fresh because he has not played much football recently.
“We are very lucky to get him. I also think it is a coup for us that he wanted to come.”
“It’s not up to me to decide what Efe’s priority is. I want him to come here, get promotion and win the Scottish Cup.
“Whether he uses it as a shop window, I don’t know. It is important for him to get some games. Whether he wants to leave Celtic, or go back to fight for his place, I’ve not had that discussion with him. What I do know is that I’ve got a very good professional in this building and someone who will be a great example to the rest.”