As we tick towards January, Marian Shved’s game-time continues to be next to non-existent at Celtic.
Despite arriving in the summer with plenty to like about him, he’s made no impact this season whatsoever. In fact, to put it into context, he’s only had 15 minutes of Premiership action in total this term (Transfermarkt). That’s less than the likes of Scott Sinclair (Transfermarkt).
Yet it’s not as if he’s been in and around matchday squads either. Celtic have played a total of 35 matches this season, with Shved only getting into six of those squads.
That’s pretty incredible considering Ukraine manager Andriy Shevchenko clearly rates him. He gave Shved his second international cap as recently as last month against Estonia.
Neil Lennon also hasn’t come out and confirmed that there are any issues with Shved’s fitness or otherwise. At face-value, we’re being made to believe that he’s just unfavoured at the moment.
Plenty of players ahead of Shved
It’s frustrating considering the likes of Lewis Morgan and Sinclair have been getting minutes despite not impressing at all this season. Shved, meanwhile, actually scored on his debut for the club back in August against Nomme Kalju, and has been given only 15 minutes of game-time ever since.
If Lennon doesn’t rate him then who are we to question him? After all, Lenny will see him in training every day and won’t just be leaving him out for no good reason.
However, at the same time, being out of matchday squads won’t exactly help his career progress either.
January is nearing which means the transfer window will be open for business soon. Celtic must make it a priority to make sure that Shved finds a place to play regularly over the next six months. He can’t continue to sit out and be left to stagnate – that won’t do a single bit of good for him in the long run.
He seems to have become a bit of a forgotten man. Lennon never seems to give him a mention, whilst he’s nowhere near the squad even when it’s rotated.
Thursday night was the prime example. What an opportunity that could’ve been for the Ukrainian in Cluj. Yet, despite Lennon leaving more than a handful of players at home and making 10 changes, Shved still wasn’t anywhere near the squad.
Hopefully, this situation can get sorted in January. We clearly have a positive young talent in Shved who needs regular game-time. Given how far out of the picture he is here, that won’t happen in the second half of the season in Glasgow.
We’ll see how this plays out over the coming weeks, but the status quo suits nobody.