It’s been an interesting season for Celtic exile Marian Shved.

When he first joined KV Mechelen, he looked to have been an instant flop. His temporary manager Wouter Vrancken described him as “arrogant”, telling him to “go play billiards or something” [HLN]. At that point, it appeared there was no way back for the Ukrainian, in Belgium or at Celtic.

Fast forward 3 months, and Shved is key to Vrancken’s side. While 4 goal involvements in 13 games is nothing outlandish [Transfermarkt], it’s his movement and effort that have won him plaudits in mainland Europe. Funnily enough, Shved met his fellow Celtic loanee Jack Hendry recently, in Belgium’s top-flight.

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In an interview with Nieuwsblad from this morning, it’s clear that the Mechelen boss’ words got to Shved. The Ukrainian winger said:

“When manager Wouter Vrancken gave an interview in early December in which harsh words were said about me, I changed my mentality. It motivated me and suddenly I felt that I could make a difference here. I trained harder and thus gained the coach’s confidence.

“I suddenly gave 100 percent on every sprint and went 100 percent for every ball. That made a big difference.

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“That gave me more chances to play and even more motivation. Now we play the quarter finals of the cup and we have a view of the play-offs, which motivates me even more.”

Celtic Shved

Shved slaloms past defenders for KV Mechelen / (Photo by Jeroen Meuwsen/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

Is there a way back to Celtic for Marian Shved?

This’ll be good news to Celtic supporters who would’ve liked Shved to stay. Clearly, there was something bothering Neil Lennon about the Ukrainian. If quotes and articles are anything to go by, his attitude in training wasn’t good.

 

We’ve never heard that from the Bhoys’ perspective. However, it’s easy to assume that there was a reason Shved couldn’t get into the Celtic squad. Vrancken’s comments on the winger suggest a real mentality issue, that the coach has gone some way to sort out.

Shved has since expressed regret at joining Celtic. In an interview with GVA, he said:

“[Genk] even made a higher offer than Celtic. But after consultation with my brokers [agent], we ultimately opted for Celtic.

“In retrospect, that may not have been the right choice. If I knew what I know now, I might have chosen the Belgian league and signed with Genk.”

There must’ve been something significant that drew him to Glasgow though. When he comes back from Mechelen, the opportunity is surely there for the tricky winger. All he needs, we’re guessing, is to apply himself in training like he has in Belgium.

The opportunities will surely come.

READ MORE: The PSG Factor complicating things for Celtic.

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