Celtic youngster Luca Connell "wasn't doing much" before Queen's Park loan

By David Walton

June 2, 2021

Celtic youngster Luca Connell has admitted that he “wasn’t doing much” at the club before he left for Queen’s Park on loan.

Connell has just finished his second season at Celtic, and still remains nowhere near the first-team. Despite arriving from Championship side Bolton, where he was playing every week, he spent the second half of last season on loan in Scottish League Two.

His lack of development has been a major talking point in recent months. Celtic fans immediately questioned his development path when his move to the Spiders was confirmed. Republic of Ireland under-21 manager Jim Crawford has also stated that he feels it’s been “two years wasted” for the midfielder [Irish Independent].

Connell, meanwhile, has touched on his recent campaign whilst discussing the importance of the current under-21s camp with Ireland.

As quoted by the Irish Mirror, Connell said: “For the first-half of the season I wasn’t really doing much. But as soon as I went on loan it gave me the chance to express myself and show what I can do. As a team we did that and we were successful in the end, so it was very good.

“[on the international camp] It’s just to get used to each other and the way we play for the qualifiers coming up. It helps us out and it helps the coaches to get our tactics right for when it really does matter.

“It’s a new team and we’re all still getting to know each other. It’s important to get away, have a few games to get to know each other’s strengths and where you need to help people out.”

Celtic likely to send Luca Connell on loan once again

So what’s next for Connell then? He managed to achieve all he could during his time at Queen’s. After signing for them in March, he racked up 11 appearances and bagged two goals and four assists [Transfermarkt]. All the while playing a key role in easing the club to promotion into League One next season.

You can’t say he didn’t do exactly what he was sent there to do. But what do Celtic next have in plan for the youngster? At 20 years of age, he’s now at a stage where regular football needs to be on his agenda. But it has to be a massive step up from where we sent him this season.

It’s easy to forget, but Connell was impressing in the English Championship before moving to Celtic. This was two years ago. Fast forward those two years and his career has regressed badly since moving to Parkhead.

Luca Connell on duty for Ireland / (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Celtic likely won’t utilise him much this season. Granted, a new managerial appointment will lead to a fresh start for everyone. However, it feels as though the most likely destination for Connell will be another temporary exit.

If that does happen, it has to be to either another Premiership side or a Championship/League One club down south. He’s far too good to be operating at a level lower than that, and we need to see some genuine progression in his game.

We’ll see what the coming weeks hold for him. One thing’s certain – there’s no use just letting him stagnate at Lennoxtown.

In other news, five Celtic players face an anxious wait with Scotland after a positive test in the camp.