London-born Celtic target could boost his Denmark chances with Hoops switch

By Euan Davidson

January 20, 2022

He may have been born in Hounslow, a Western London borough, but Celtic target Matt O’Riley could boost his chances of a Denmark call-up with good form at Parkhead.

Reports have dictated that O’Riley is likely to sign for Celtic shortly [Daily Record]. And while O’Riley has represented England at two youth levels, he speaks Danish, and is of Danish and Norwegian heritage on his mother’s side.

In January, the Danish FA were reportedly looking at the MK Dons star [Sun]. Denmark, who impressed at Euro 2020, would surely benefit from the ex-Fulham kid’s range of passing and goal-scoring ability from midfield.

Photo by James Chance/Getty Images

He’s even admitted to supporting both Denmark and England during last year’s tournament. He told the Athletic: “I feel quite Danish.

“I’ve got a lot of family in Denmark, who I’m close to. I’ve visited a few times, I can speak Danish pretty well. When it came to the Euros, I didn’t know what to do, but I did celebrate Denmark’s goal as well as England’s. I know that will annoy a lot of people!”

Celtic adding to their roster of international players is, of course, never a bad thing. Were O’Riley to sign for Celtic and get the nod from the Danish FA, he’d be far from the first Hoops player to represent Denmark.

Morten Rasmussen, signed by Tony Mowbray, had 13 caps. Marc Rieper made 61 appearances, while Thomas Gravesen, signed from Real Madrid, played 66 times for Denmark. Morten Wieghorst, Denmark assistant manager at the Euros, is also in the list.

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67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

Matt O’Riley will have interesting choices, including Denmark, should he sign for Celtic

Of course, nothing is done until it’s done; we know this all too well.

Until O’Riley is holding a Celtic scarf above his head, talk of Denmark caps are premature. However, all the signs look positive for Ange Postecoglou to make his fifth January window signing.

O’Riley, who emerged in Celtic gossip columns as if from nowhere yesterday morning, would be an excellent compliment to the Hoops’ existing midfield options. We saw Reo Hatate’s stunning debut as a number 8 on Monday night. However, we lack numbers beyond the Japanese midfielder in that specific role, with Callum McGregor shuttled to defensive midfield.

Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Therefore, it’s a move that makes total sense, and would give us real options. Especially with the looming threat of international call-ups and how they’d impact our midfield.

Provided O’Riley signs for Celtic, he’d have an excellent opportunity to make a mark. Not only that, he’d put himself in the spotlight for international attention, with Denmark or Norway both excellent footballing nations who could enquire about his services.

As a transfer, it seems win-win for both club and player. Should he be announced later today, it’d be a move that should excite the Parkhead faithful.

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