Neil Lennon's Europa League admission bad news for Celtic's Moritz Bauer

By David Walton

December 22, 2019

Celtic manager Neil Lennon’s comments about Jeremie Frimpong’s Europa League squad inclusion doesn’t bode well for Moritz Bauer.

Frimpong will be included in the squad for February’s last-32 clash against Copenhagen. Lennon confirmed that will be the case and stated that he’s been surprised by his meteoric rise (Scottish Sun).

So that opens up the question regarding who could drop out. Looking at the squad Lennon selected, you could easily point to some of the younger players. Inexperienced talent such as Calvin Miller and Grant Savory could be ones to make way.

Neil Lennon will give Jeremie Frimpong a spot in his next Europa League squad (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

However, Lennon has put them in there for a reason. As for Moritz Bauer, the third-choice right-back at the club, he also had a reason for being in. It was because he was second-choice at the time and was the more experienced between himself and Frimpong.

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Of course, fast forward a few months and Bauer has only been given two starts in the group stages and that was only because Celtic had already qualified. Beforehand, he was behind Hatem Abd Elhamed, and in recent times, he’s only started two of our last 10 league matches (Transfermarkt).

From fringe man to forgotten man

In our last two matches, Bauer hasn’t even been on the bench. That has to be a huge concern for the Austrian, who, considering he’s only here on loan until the end of the season, is struggling to offer us much.

Is Moritz Bauer really needed at Parkhead? (Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

With Frimpong available to come in, Bauer seems like the best bet to drop out. His future at Parkhead appears to be non-existent. He isn’t getting the opportunities Lennon likely would’ve envisaged him having when he joined. Given Frimpong’s rise over the last few months, nobody can truly be blamed for that.

If Celtic still have high hopes for the likes of Scott Robertson, Savoury, and Karamoko Dembele, they’re as well keeping them in there. It’s a great experience for them to be in the thick of European squads and learning what this is all about.

It all comes down to building for the future. Bauer would probably still command a place in the squad if he was here permanently.

Jeremie Frimpong is ready for Europa League action (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Considering his chances at Celtic look extremely limited, however, it would be right to drop him out of the squad entirely. We also have Lee O’Connor who can play right-back, and having him as third-choice would be more sensible.

There’s no guaranteeing that Bauer will even be here either. If there’s an option to cancel the loan in January, that’s hardly out of the equation. But as for who drops out of the Europa League squad? Bauer must be the top candidate.