The international break has now come to an end, and Celtic will be returning to action against Livingston on Saturday. One player who might not feature in that game can console himself from the fact that he may have benefited more from the international fixtures than any other Celtic player. That player is Lee O’Connor.
O’Connor has yet to make his first-team debut for the Hoops since joining the club from Manchester United on a long-term deal in August.
Assist in first senior match
However, that has not prevented him from making his first senior appearance for his country. His debut for Ireland was one to remember, as he set up Callum Robinson’s goal in the 3-1 win over New Zealand.
O’Connor didn’t feature for Ireland in their Euro 2020 qualifier against Denmark, which was to be expected. However, he did play and score for the Irish under-21 side in their 4-1 win over Sweden.
Those two performances will give O’Connor plenty of confidence as he returns to Celtic. Interestingly, O’Connor played at right-back in both of his international apperances.
Unlikely to play in some position for club and country
That could count against him when it comes to Celtic. The Hoops have plenty of right-backs in their first-team squad, with three players battling it out for one place in the team.
However, O’Connor’s versatility could mean that he could still find a place in the Celtic first-team at some stage this season.
In his time at Manchester United, he has also played at centre-back and left-back. That may help find a place in the Hoops side, as Neil Lennon will no doubt be impressed by O’Connor’s ability to play in more than one position.
At the moment, when he returns to Celtic O’Connor will be back in the Hoops reserve side. However, you have to imagine that a breakthrough to the first-team won’t be that far away. His international success can only help towards that.