Lewis Morgan’s opportunity against Rennes on Thursday night was exactly what his Celtic career needed.
This was a player who hadn’t scored for the club since August. A player who looked ahead of him in the pecking order and saw both Mohamed Elyounoussi and Mikey Johnston. A player who hadn’t started a single league game since August 10th (Transfermarkt).
In recent weeks, he’s even had to listen to talk of a potential loan move in January. St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin made his intentions clear on it (STV). Jack Ross’ appointment at Hibs would likely have led to January speculation too.
But his Rennes performance came out of nowhere. Neil Lennon gave him the chance to lead the line in Odsonne Edouard’s absence. In a position he had never played in for us before, he starred in the 3-1 win.
It wasn’t just his goal either, although that was enough for him to earn pass marks. His sweeping left-footed finish was a strike that French Eddy would’ve been proud of.
What perhaps surprised was how impressive his combination play was. Morgan kept things ticking over smoothly in the final third. His link-up play with the likes of James Forrest and Ryan Christie had the Rennes back-line guessing.
Morgan took to the position seamlessly and helped do us a turn in an area of the pitch where we were severely lacking in options.
Morgan now apparently going nowhere
Lennon has since dismissed any idea of him going in January (The Scotsman). That’s a major shot-in-the-arm for the former St Mirren youngster. It’s clear that he’s valued by the manager, and his game-time could now be set to increase over the festive period.
Today’s clash against Ross County seems like the perfect game to give him another opportunity. After all, Morgan has impressed in one-off games in the past.
He had a decent start to the campaign with a couple of decent displays against Sarajevo and Nomme Kalju respectively. However, he couldn’t build on them, and was subsequently left behind in the left-wing spot by Johnston and Elyounoussi.
It’s difficult to know what the best position would be for him today. With Lennon talking about how Griffiths still needs eased in, however, it seems logical to give Morgan another shot up top today (Scottish Sun). Whether this becomes his permanent position remains to be seen.
The fact is, today is huge for the attacker. It’s time he starts to build himself a body of solid performances. With the competition ahead of him, he needs to impress more consistently than he has done at any point throughout his Celtic career.
Will today prove to be another building block for him? Hopefully – he certainly needs it.