Matt O'Riley discusses 2019 Denmark trip that could've led to him missing out on Celtic

By David Walton

March 24, 2022

Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley has opened up on the 2019 Denmark visit that could’ve led to him signing for Brondby instead of MK Dons.

The Hoops triggered the player’s £1.5m release clause back in January, and since then the former English League One star has been impressing the Celtic support.

His form has led to him being called up for the Danish U21 squad in what’s going to be a huge week for him. O’Riley could go right into the side to face Belgium as Denmark look to qualify for the U21 European Championships.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

And as he spoke to the Danish press, O’Riley has revealed his career path could’ve taken him away from Parkhead back in 2019.

As quoted by Bold.dk, O’Riley said: “I was close to switching to Brondby back in the autumn of 2019. I was at Fulham at the time, but I wasn’t too happy there, so I went over to visit Brondby for a game they were playing against FC Copenhagen.

“It was a great match. I think Brondby won 3-1. I was there with some people from the club who I had lunch with, where we discussed a move. It fell through in the end. That’s how football is sometimes.”

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Matt O’Riley to Brondby would’ve likely taken him away from Celtic Park

it’s fair to say that Celtic haven’t exactly plundered Denmark in the past for their next big signing. Despite the fact we consistently struggle against Scandinavian countries and whilst their players don’t go for big money, it isn’t an area we do much transfer work in.

Therefore, it’s probably safe to assume that if O’Riley had moved to Brondby, he would’ve been away from Celtic’s radar. Given how he’s started this year after his arrival from MK Dons, that certainly looks as though it would’ve been a big shame.

It would’ve been interesting to see what a move to Sweden would’ve potentially done for O’Riley’s career. The evidence is that it would’ve likely given him European exposure at an earlier age.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

But even so, he finds himself at a much bigger club in Celtic. Next season, it’s looking as though O’Riley could be in a UEFA Champions League midfield. Competing against the best players in the world. Brondby, meanwhile, sit 3rd in Denmark and are unlikely to mount a serious title-challenge by the looks of things.

In the end, O’Riley went to MK Dons and managed to carve out a fine year for himself in London before his Parkhead switch.

Now, he’s looking to make waves on the international stage with Denmark U21s. It’s fair to say this is one many of us have our eyes on this week.

In other news, Even Celtic star Anthony Ralston sounds bemused with his latest Scotland snub