Eagle-eyed Celtic supporters will have spotted a surprising participant on the podium yesterday when the Bhoys were presented with the Scottish League Cup trophy at Hampden.
In the background, alongside illustrious names like Scott Brown, Odsonne Edouard and Ryan Christie was an, as yet, unseen Celtic talent – teenager Luca Connell.
The midfielder was apparently part of the travelling squad group for the big derby day at Hampden and got stuck right into the celebrations, with the look of delight on his face rather obvious in between Boli Bolingoli and Jeremie Frimpong.
And quite right too. If you are part of Neil Lennon’s group, it doesn’t matter if you played or not, you’ve clearly earned your spot amongst the other senior players.
It was brilliant to see the youngster enjoy himself so much.
What’s his current status?
His celebrations do remind us all that he is a summer signing yet to be seen in the first-team. After the emergence of Frimpong, there’s a bit of excitement about other young players coming through the club.
Connell arrived quite early in the transfer window and initially impressed some fans in pre-season action against Rennes at Celtic Park, but ultimately did not transfer that into competitive appearances.
Not much has been said about the Republic of Ireland youth international since then, but the manager did briefly mention him as one of the players who could follow in the footsteps of the young right-back, in October (The Scottish Sun).
Recently, after some fitness and injury problems, he’s very much been part of the development squad. Last week he took part in the Celtic side that progressed to the semi-finals of the SPFL Reserve Cup (Celtic Academy).
Unfortunately, he won’t be taking part in the upcoming dead-rubber against Cluj, as he is not registered for the Europa League, but could we see him in action across a busy December?
It’s important to consider that Connell also got a bit of first-team experience at Bolton prior to his Celtic move, playing 12 times in the English Championship and FA Cup (Transfermarkt).
It doesn’t seem beyond the realm of possibility that we’d see him debut at some point this season.
Perhaps after his final cameo, Lennon will be asked about the player’s progress and how far away he is from playing.