Celtic winger Marian Shved has had a strange time in Belgium.
Initially, he hadn’t just not impressed Wouter Vracken. Shved disgusted the KV Mechelen manager, and as recently as December, the winger was described as a “loner”.
The Belgian coach had said [Daily Record]:
“I don’t feel like I should be wasting my time on him anymore.
“The staff and the players have talked to him several times. I spoke to him in private, I also addressed him in the group. But we haven’t got a response.
“Well, it stops now. If he wants to be a loner, he can. Go play billiards for the rest of his life or something.”
Well, it’s been quite a month for the Ukrainian, who has been on impressive form for the Jupiler Pro League side. Last night, Shved assisted one and scored twice in an important win over Waasland-Beveren. Now, Vracken has changed his tune entirely.
Via Belgian outlet GVA, the KV Mechelen boss said:
“In the past you could tell from his face that he didn’t like being here.
“He isolated himself. As a team we have tried enough to talk to him. Now his attitude on and off the field has completely changed. He is committed and makes contacts. He’s one of the guys now.
“Marian remains an introvert, of course, but that’s okay.
“Of course I hope that Marian will stay with KV Mechelen, although I hope so from my entire front line. It currently brings a lot of quality.”
Is it possible that Celtic winger Marian Shved was just a bit shy?
We imagine footballers to be confident, outgoing people. Like any profession, though, that can’t be the case for everyone.
In a career that has seen him play in 3 different countries, he may just struggle with languages. Or, he finds it more difficult to integrate himself into a squad than others.
KV Mechelen are certainly reaping the rewards for letting Shved settle, to the extent that Vracker’s originally outrageous remarks seem cruel in retrospect.
Alternatively, Shved very well may have had attitude problems, and a kick up the proverbial was the best course of action. If that’s the case, then hopefully it’ll be the shot up the arm his career needs. Celtic need reinforcements on the wings, and it’d be good to get some use out of a player we’ve already got.
If KV Mechelen are genuinely interested in taking Shved long-term, it’ll be interesting to see whether the Ukrainian winger is interested.
Equally, Celtic may have no urge to sell, with Shved only 23-years-old and boasting excellent technique and finishing abilities.
This’ll be an interesting one to watch. Hopefully it doesn’t distract the Celtic loanee, who needs only to keep doing what he’s done over recent matches.