Celtic youngsters spotted in training ahead of Motherwell clash

By Euan Davidson

February 5, 2021

Celtic youngsters Ewan Henderson and Luca Conell were spotted training with the first-team today.

Henderson has been heavily linked with a loan move to Dundee. Earlier this week, we argued that first-team action elsewhere in the SPFL would do the midfielder a world of good. Meanwhile, we also urged Celtic to make a decision over Irish youth international Luca Connell.

Clearly, we’re getting through to the hierarchy at Celtic. If that’s the case: alright? How’s it going? You read my free agents article yet? Get on it, troops.

In pictures shared by the Daily Record, Connell, Henderson and both of their haircuts were papped joining in with the first-team squad. Preparing for tomorrow’s tough test against Motherwell, Celtic manager Neil Lennon has been urged to play more academy prospects in the 20-21 run-in.

What these pictures actually mean is up for debate, of course. It could just be that two fringe players got a nice Friday treat, training with their heroes in Shane Duffy and Vasilis Barkas.

Or, it might suggest that Lennon is looking to rest the likes of Callum McGregor and Ismaila Soro (again). Given their incredible number of minutes over recent matches, it makes a modicum of sense.

Ewan Henderson battles Nice’s Atal in pre-season / (Photo by JEFF PACHOUD / AFP) (Photo by JEFF PACHOUD/AFP via Getty Images)

Fans want to see Celtic youngsters Connell and Henderson

Since Ewan Henderson impressed against Lille [BBC], fans have wondered whether the younger brother of ex-Celt Liam Henderson might get more chances. As it is, he hasn’t really had much time on the pitch. That’s a shame, because he showed immense versatility in that game.

He would’ve been a useful option to play at right-back, like he did for portions of the match against the Ligue 1 side.

Connell has already played matches at a decent level. He starred 10 times for Bolton Wanderers before joining Celtic, and the Liverpudlian has impressed at youth international level. It’d be good to see what he’s actually capable of for the first team.

There’s a subtext here, though. Much as many fans won’t like it, Neil Lennon might be setting his stall out. By picking youngsters in future matches, he could be expressing the desire to carry on managing the club. Perhaps the board feel he hasn’t played youngsters often enough, and this is his way of appeasing them.

We won’t know any of this until we see the team sheet tomorrow. As it is, it’s good to see two promising midfielders sharing the Lennoxtown facilities with the first-team squad.

Maybe, just maybe, it’s a sign of what’s to come.