Neil Lennon touches on Timothy Weah reunion ahead of Lille vs Celtic
Celtic manager Neil Lennon has admitted that he’s looking forward to seeing Lille’s Timothy Weah again after a brief working relationship with him in 2019.
Lennon’s second-stint in Glasgow saw him pick up from Brendan Rodgers in February 2019. A month earlier, Weah had arrived on a six-month loan deal from PSG in what was undoubtedly our most exciting signing of that particular winter window.
Weah had started his Celtic career on fire with two goals in two games, but would only be given two more league starts out of a possible nine after Lennon’s arrival.
The striker would only score one more goal in that period, before being told by Lennon to leave early after choosing to head away with the USA under-20s as opposed to staying for the Scottish Cup final (Daily Record). It was certainly a controversial decision from the manager at the time, with a derby against Rangers that very weekend.
Yet despite that sour taste from his departure, Lennon has admitted he’s looking forward to seeing him again after Lille and Celtic were paired together in the Europa League groups. As quoted by the Celtic View (Volume 56, Issue 11, page 06) Lennon said: “Lille are a very good side, a quality side who’ve been in the Champions League for a few years.
“He did very well for me in a few of the games. He was more of a squad player coming off the bench, but he started a couple of games and got himself a couple of goals, so it’ll be good to see him again.
“Any of the teams in the group could have been in pot one when you look at the quality of them. I think it’s a measure of how well we’ve done over the years that we made pot one, so that’s good for the reputation of the club. So we’ll see how the group transpires.”
Lille unlikely to give him many minutes
Despite the fact Weah looked like making an impression at Lille whe he moved there before the 2019/20 campaign, things haven’t worked out.
Injury problems have forced him to sit on the sidelines, whilst he’s only made four cameo appearances this season. He was most recently brought on for one minute against Strasbourg in a 3-0 away win just a few days ago.
Ironically, he’s already played more this season than he did throughout the 2020 campaign, showing just how little an impact he’s made. The only conceivable way Weah gets genuine minutes against us is if Lille are chasing a goal.
Celtic are due to travel to France on matchday two (October 29th), before the reverse fixture at Parkhead in the final matchday (December 10th). Celtic had already won their Europa League group by matchday six last season, but that likely won’t be the case time around.
Instead of Weah, Celtic are most likely going to find themselves up against the likes of Turkish veteran Burak Yilmaz, or new signing Jonathan David.
But the son of football legend George Weah was certainly thought of fondly by the Celtic support. Hopefully, he doesn’t sting us at some stage in the upcoming campaign.
In other news, Rangers have another reported injury concern ahead of the Glasgow derby at Celtic Park.