Celtic youth stars deserve first-team spots over Scott Allan

By David Walton

March 17, 2019

Scott Allan’s game-time looks set to increase, and that must be a frustration to the youth players at Celtic.

Allan has been plying his trade with the reserves over the last couple of months. The former Dundee United and West Brom man has helped charge the young Hoops to the top of the Reserve League.

This seemed like the right idea before he departs for Hibernian in the summer. His pre-contract with the Easter Road side kicks into effect next season, and therefore he has no future at Parkhead anymore.

Scott Allan will be back at Hibernian in the summer (Alan Rennie/Action Plus via Getty Images)

But Lennon has stated that he’ll look to give the former and future Hibernian star some game-time before the season is out. Speaking in the Evening Times, Lennon opened up on Allan’s situation.

“I would like to give him some game time between now and the end of the season but just at the minute he is short of game time and I can’t risk him at the minute.

“There could be a chance of him breaking down. He has played a few development games but I would like to give him a little run if we can get over the line as quickly as possible but there are no guarantees with that.

“If the opportunity comes along then I’d love to. He is training well and having a go at it and it is a difficult position he finds himself in. I would like to give him some game time and a few others as well.”

Not the time to be focusing on Allan

It’s difficult to see Lennon’s thinking here.

The likes of Kerr McInroy and Armstrong Oko-flex, to name a couple, have been thriving in the reserves. Any spot that could be given to Allan should be going to the likes of those two.

Kerr McInroy has been in fine form for the Celtic reserves this season (Juergen Schwarz/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Celtic also have other talent emerging such as centre-back Wallace Duffy and striker Jack Aitchison. Lennon needs to prioritise getting these youngsters some minutes on the pitch to give them that first-team experience.

Allan is keeping match-fit playing with the reserves. Granted, the Reserve League may finish in April, but the midfielder still has the luxury of Lennoxtown to keep himself ticking over until switching to Hibs in June.

Playing Allan, who’s only made three starts for Celtic in over three-and-a-half years, seems meaningless. Especially so when McInroy has been performing so confidently and maturely over the reserve season in the midfield.

If this is a favour from Lennon to Allan, then that’s disappointing. There’s talent emerging from Lennoxtown at a rapid rate – it’s time they were given some priority.