Marian Shved was tipped to "explode" into things by Lennon; Celtic youngster now struggling in Belgium

By David Walton

November 23, 2020

It’s just not going well for Marian Shved as he continues to struggle to nail down regular minutes with Belgian side KV Mechelen.

Back in January, Neil Lennon outlined a big future for Shved at Parkhead. After seemingly impressing during the club’s break in Dubai after a frustrating first six months in Scotland, it appeared he was set for a run in the team.

As quoted by the Herald back in January, Lennon said: “He’s training well. He’s looking lively and has been a wee bit of a bonus this week. It’s an opportunity to just explode onto it. He’s looked very healthy and I’ve been pleased with him. It’s not easy for guys to adapt sometimes, especially if family is not there as well.

“He’s a bit of a slow burner, but he’s still young and I’ve really liked what I have seen of him. He’s been good.”

Things couldn’t have spiralled any further down for him since those remarks. Shved didn’t actually make a single matchday squad outside of one solitary five-minute outing vs Clyde in the Scottish Cup last season.

All of a sudden he was back out of the picture and punted on loan to Mechelen. The Belgian outfit’s manager, Wouter Vrancken, said at the time that he couldn’t believe his club had managed to get him (Scottish Sun).

Shved isn’t lighting it up in Belgium

But fast forward three months and Shved has made next to no impact with his new loan club. He’s only made three appearances in Belgium and has yet to start a single one of their matches.

In addition to that, Shved isn’t showing his creative streak either. He’s yet to bag a goal or an assist with Mechelen, and he’s clearly not a major part of their starting XI.

Vrancken most recently spoke about him back in September, and explained that it would take a bit of time to get Shved up and running (Daily Record).

Celtic winger Marian Shved in action for Ukraine / (Photo by Orhan Cicek/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

But Mechelen have played seven games since then, with Shved only featuring for half an hour over the course of them (Transfermarkt). That’s simply not good enough, and if his remit is to catch Lennon’s eye, the Ukrainian simply isn’t doing it.

Of course, there’s still time to retrieve things, and Shved hasn’t been helped by having previously been in self-isolation back at the start of November (Glasgow Times). But even so, Lennon won’t have much sympathy when it comes to weighing up whether Shved should get an opportunity here.

It’s time for the Brendan Rodgers signing to seriously start stepping things up a notch. He showed what he was capable of on his debut when he slammed home a goal against Nomme Kalju. Now it’s time for him to show he can do that on a consistent basis. The first half of his loan spell so far has been anything but impressive, regardless of whether he’s had some bad luck here or there.

In other news, Celtic’s Euro rivals have suffered an unexpected crisis.