Celtic youngster Luca Connell has been named as one of the 22 players in the club’s Euro squad for tonight’s clash with KR Reykjavik, the Daily Record has reported.
Neil Lennon’s Hoops host the Icelandic champions at Celtic Park this evening in their UEFA Champions League first-round qualifying match.
However, with the likes of Leigh Griffiths and Mikey Johnston injured, it has opened up a spot for some of the fringe men to take their place.
And Connell, who impressed in a pre-season friendly against Hibernian last month, has reportedly been handed a spot (Daily Record).
The former Bolton youngster spent last season plying his trade mostly with the development side. But it looks as though Lennon is prepared to start integrating him more and more into first-team matters.
Connell not the only Lennoxtown starlet to get the call
As well as Connell, Conor Hazard has also reportedly been included in the squad. However, that perhaps isn’t too surprising given the fact he’s currently the third-choice goalkeeper at the club.
With the exception of Connell and Hazard, there are no current under-20 stars who have been shifted up to the A list. That should come as a massive boost to the Irishman.
Other names in the squad that fans would like to see more of include the likes of Ismaila Soro, Tom Rogic, and Hatem Elhamed respectively.
But for Connell, this is a big step for him. It may also be a sign that Lennon doesn’t see the youngster’s immediate future away from Parkhead.
During pre-season, Connell was one of the youngsters who you may have tipped to go out on loan. Being in Celtic’s Champions League squad, however, suggests that chances will be there for him this season.
It’s unlikely Connell starts tonight or even comes on from the bench. But this is most definitely a nod to his hard work since his arrival from Bolton in the summer of 2019.