Celtic winger Daniel Arzani has ruled himself out of the Champions League first qualifying round first leg against FK Sarajevo.
The tie kicks-off on July 9th or 10th at Celtic Park in the first leg. Celtic will then travel to Bosnia to face what will hopefully be a routine second match in Sarajevo.
But when the curtain lifts on a new campaign for the Hoops, Arzani won’t be there to start it off. The winger missed the final seven months of last season after tearing his ACL at Dens Park against Dundee. It was to be Arzani’s only appearance of the season after signing on a two-year loan deal from Manchester City.
And whilst the Aussie will be keen to make up for lost time, he today confirmed he won’t make the first leg. He did, however, state at his media conference through Celtic’s Twitter account that he hopes to be back for the away leg.
🗣️ DA: “I’m disappointed that I won’t be there for the first leg but I hope to be there for the next one.”
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) June 18, 2019
An opportunity for Maryan Shved?
Arzani likely wouldn’t have started the first leg against Sarajevo in any case. In all likelihood, it would’ve been James Forrest and Scott Sinclair.
But what it could mean, however, is that fans get a look at new Bhoy Maryan Shved against the Bosnians. Depending on where Lennon sees Shved playing, there’s a good chance he and Arzani are in direct competition with each other. Shved is able to play down both flanks, and has previously played as a number 10 and as a striker too.
Forrest or Sinclair, you would imagine, would be unlikely to play the full 90 minutes when Lennon looks to bring some fresh legs on. Against a team such as Sarajevo, you would hope Celtic want to keep the tempo high and keep the wide men fresh.
Hopefully, that leads to an opportunity for Shved if Arzani is out. The latter stated today that he’s a natural left-winger, but has also had experience down the right too.
As for the Aussie himself, it’s not much of a set-back. He’s been building his strength up in training, and will be back getting his opportunities in a Celtic jersey in no time.
He seems to be in good spirits ahead of the new season. From a supporters’ perspective, hopefully we start to see what all the rave is about over the next year.