Celtic were given another timely boost as Daniel Arzani was snapped back in training after months out with an ACL injury.
The Australian hasn’t played for Celtic since the 5-0 win at Dundee on Halloween. It was at Dens Park where he suffered the nasty injury that has ruled him out of action for the season.
But on Friday, the Daily Record spotted Arzani in training. Apparently, the Aussie was doing light training away from the main group. But just the fact that he’s back on the training field is a big boost ahead of next season.
As it stands, Arzani has just over two months to get himself up to speed before the Champions League qualifiers. The right-winger must have his sights set on taking part in those clashes.
And all of this just tosses the pressure right on to Oliver Burke. The on-loan West Brom star has fallen away since a promising early spell at Parkhead. He’s started just one of Celtic’s last four matches, and appears rooted to the bench for now.
Horror misses against St Mirren and Livingston haven’t helped his cause either. He now appears to not be first-choice either down the right or up top. Neil Lennon has instead been preferring James Forrest and Odsonne Edouard respectively.
As it stands, do we need Burke?
But the return of Arzani is yet another reason Celtic don’t have to splash cash out on Burke next season. It’s down to the Scotland international to prove that he’s up for the challenge and that he can prove to the Celtic board he’s worth an investment. At the moment, the Hoops don’t have to sign him up, as we won’t be desperate in that position.
Let’s not forget that Ukrainian sensation Maryan Shved will also be arriving in the summer. Considering both he and Arzani look set to be firing, what’s the carrot of signing Burke from West Brom at the current moment?
It mainly comes down to the fact that Burke isn’t showing enough on the pitch. If he was banging in the goals and providing constant assists, there could be an argument there because he would be an upgrade on what we currently have.
At the moment, he’s nowhere near that level.
Arzani’s return must count as the final warning for Burke. He has to start resurrecting his Celtic career, or risk watching it fall down the pan.
A good performance against Aberdeen in today’s Scottish Cup semi-final would be a nice start.