Chris Davies explains Europa League squad decision

By David Walton

September 5, 2018

Celtic assistant manager Chris Davies has explained the thinking behind their Europa League squad.

Much confusion occurred as Daniel Arzani missed out on the squad earlier on today. The on-loan Manchester City star is at the club for two years, and would’ve hoped to make an impact in Europe this season.

Instead, it appears that Celtic still don’t expect him to be ready at any stage in the near future. The youngster is still building up his fitness, with Davies stating that it’s a long-term process with Arzani.

Daniel Arzani (left) featured in the World Cup for Australia (Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Speaking to the media this afternoon, Davies explained the Europa League squad with regards to Arzani:

Daniel is a young player, he is still adapting to the environment here. He is two weeks into his training program here, which is, in normal terms, still early pre-season. He still has a way to go to get up to speed but he has a two-year loan and we are going to support his development.

What Celtic fans should quite rightly be asking at this stage is why Arzani will still take several months to get up to speed. For most players, it takes between four to six weeks to get match-fit. As Arzani has been with Australia during the World Cup also, he shouldn’t be too far off.

Thankfully, however, Celtic gave fans the explanation they deserve. Whilst there are still huge holes in the club’s thinking, at least we know where we stand.

There wasn’t such great news for Marvin Compper and Scott Allan, however. Both have missed the chance to be included in the squad alongside Arzani, and it looks bleaker for the pair.

Scott Allan has barely featured under Brendan Rodgers (Vagelis Georgariou/ActionPlus/Corbis via Getty Images)

Davies simply stated that they have to prove their worth in training. In general talk, that means they’re so far from first-team action that there’s very little chance we’ll see much of them again.

Compper is back in training. It seems like this is said every six weeks. But the German is apparently building his fitness back up to standard, and he simply has to show something in the next couple of months.

For Allan, there’s surely no way back. The former Hibernian star hasn’t had his fair share of opportunities at the club, but competition is just too strong. It would’ve been interesting to see what Brendan Rodgers could’ve done with him, but apparently the answer is not a lot.

Arzani still has a big part to play when he can get up to speed hopefully. For Compper and Allan, it’s looking bleaker by the day.