If Arzani isn't in the Europa League squad then why is he here?

By David Walton

September 5, 2018

If he isn’t going to take part in the Europa League this season, then why is Daniel Arzani here?

Celtic supporters would’ve been surprised to hear the Australian kid isn’t part of the Europa League squad for the group stages. The youngster was one of several summer signings under Brendan Rodgers, coming in on loan from Manchester City.

The deal is a two-year one, and therefore people will point to the fact that he’s here next season as to why he wasn’t selected. But he’s also here this season.

Arzani is expected to make a good impact at Celtic Park (Getty Images)

Fans will be expecting something tangible from their apparent wonder-kid this season. Arzani impressed whilst at the World Cup with Australia, and then signed a deal with Manchester City afterwards.

Almost immediately, he arrived at Parkhead on a two-year loan deal to help his development. 

The fitness build-up

The narrative at the moment is that he’s still building up his fitness. How long that’s going to take him, unsurprisingly nobody knows. So long as it’s not the same as Marvin Compper’s fitness time-frame then Celtic fans will be satisfied for now.

Surely, however, by the time the Europa League group stages finish in early December, the youngster will be up to speed by then. It’s early days yet, but the last thing we all want is another Charly Musonda fiasco.

With the Chelsea man, the supporters were led to believe there was a long-term project to build up his physique. Instead, he unceremoniously went back down to London for good and was never to be heard from again.

Charly Musonda left Celtic having barely played for the club (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The Arzani deal is a long way from that stage. But Celtic fans don’t want another long-term project with the Aussie, especially considering he’s only here for two years.

Instead, everyone would’ve hoped he would’ve been ready to partake in European action at some stage, especially with it being the Europa League.

It could be the case that Rodgers wants to keep him fresh for domestic business and let him ease into the club. That much is fine, but including him in the squad couldn’t have done any harm.

Regardless, fans will want to see what the Australian has to offer soon. If we’re sitting here two months down the line waiting on something substantial, that’s when we can start being concerned.