Lille boss explains why he barely plays Timothy Weah ahead of Celtic clash

By David Walton

October 29, 2020

Lille manager Christophe Galtier has given a strong indication of what his decision will be on Timothy Weah for this evening’s clash with Celtic.

Weah has had a hellish time in France with the joint-top Ligue 1 leaders. Two separate long-term injuries restricted the USA international to only three appearances in his debut campaign.

Lille would then add Canadian star Jonathan David to their ranks over the summer, and Weah has since only seen 41 more minutes of action out of a possible 810 (Transfermarkt).

However, Lille’s Galtier has touched on why he continues to use the former Celtic man so rarely, as he hinted at what his decision will be on Weah for this evening.

As quoted by French outlet La Voix du Nord, Galtier said: “Tim is a new player. He arrived last season, but having such a dark season is so rare.

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“We know the boy, his state of mind, the efforts he made to come back and what he endured. We would have another Tim if he played 15 games last season, but he did not participate in many sessions.

“In addition when there is someone who is not used to starting a match who scores three goals (Yusuf Yazici vs Sparta Prague), it further increases the competition.”

Weah evidently still nowhere near Lille’s starting XI

Over the weekend, Weah was dropped out of the matchday squad for the first time this season when he didn’t have an injury. He was unsurprisingly replaced by attacker Yazici.

Throw Yazici’s name alongside the likes of Burak Yilmaz, Jonathan David, and Jonathan Ikone, and it paints a pretty grim picture when it comes to Weah’s chances for sustained game-time this season.

It probably doesn’t help that Lille are scoring goals at an accelerated rate too. In their last five games, Galtier’s side have rattled home 14 efforts. They’ll feel they’re doing just fine without rocking the boat and throwing Timo into things.

Weah is struggling at Lille (Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images)

And Galtier’s comments suggest Weah remains firmly out of the picture ahead of tonight’s game against Celtic. Instead, they have more fearsome strikers who are in form such as Yilmaz for example.

Of course, it’s important we don’t get fixated on making this all about whether Weah gets some minutes on the pitch against us. Tonight could potentially open up the group nicely for us – that needs to be reflected in our performance this evening.

But Galtier’s comments, which are perhaps as kind as possible, pretty much suggest we shouldn’t expect to see a substantial outing from the American again tonight.

In other news, one of Lennon’s key summer signings has disclosed the importance a private chat with the manager had on his decision.