Daniel Arzani’s Australia call-up for this January looks like it could very well happen, but does it even matter anymore?
Celtic signed Arzani on a two-year loan deal from Manchester City last summer. Despite that, however, we’ve had absolutely no return on the deal. Instead, the Aussie has played just 23 minutes in green-and-white before tearing his ACL.
Question marks still linger over where he’s at in terms of his fitness levels. He was reportedly back in training almost exactly two months ago (Scottish Sun). But, despite that, there’s been no sign that he’s even close to getting back into the Celtic first-team squad.
Australia’s Olympic caretaker manager Gary van Egmond confirmed he wants to call him up if he’s fit this January (Daily Record). Australia have key Olympic qualifiers and AFC Under-23 finals in that month.
Back in December 2018, Celtic had the saga that involved Tom Rogic missing a Glasgow derby to compete for Australia in the Asian Cup. At the time that was a big blow. But will anyone truly care too much if Arzani heads away?
How many players are actually ahead of Arzani?
It’s getting a bit ridiculous the amount of talent that’s now ahead of the on-loan Man City star. Mikey Johnston and Lewis Morgan seem to be Neil Lennon’s top choices down the left.
Outside of that, we have new loan signing Mohamed Elyounoussi and Scott Sinclair. It wouldn’t surprise you if Elyounoussi soon became a real rival for Johnston this season. But in any case, that’s four high-quality players currently ahead of Arzani in his own position. You could possibly even chuck Jonny Hayes in there too. There’s plenty of work to be done before Arzani can be considered key.
If Arzani leaves for Australia in January having still not featured, don’t expect Celtic to make much of a big deal about it. He’s not offered anything so far, and if it continues to stay that way, the truth is that not many in the Celtic support will be wiping away the tears when he leaves.
Only missing three games in any case
Even if he does depart, he’s only scheduled to miss three games. As it stands, the matches he’ll participate in will take place between January 8-26. Celtic will have their first Scottish Cup match during that period followed by a trip to Rugby Park and a home clash with Ross County. Would you expect Arzani to feature in any of them anyway?
Of course, Arzani can’t be blamed either. His injury has just taken an incredibly long amount of time to mend. So much so that the loan deal has, as it stands, been a waste for all parties.
But reporting his potential departure in January as some kind of blow isn’t totally true. Lennon would, at this stage of the game, simply be losing his last-choice left-winger for a couple of games.