Celtic youngster Luca Connell has been struck with a necessary blow as he was replaced by new signing Diego Laxalt in Celtic’s Europa League squad.
With the Hoops allowed to submit a new squad to UEFA for the group stages, the club as expected inserted their new Uruguayan left-back onto the A list.
Lennoxtown youngster Connell, who signed for the club back in the summer of 2019 from Bolton, had been in recent squads during the Champions League and Europa League qualifying rounds. However, after not playing a single minute or making any of the matchday squads, the midfielder has dropped out.
It was no surprise either and isn’t any sort of slight on the youngster. Given the wealth of midfielders at Neil Lennon’s disposal as well as a need to bring Laxalt in, Connell was a sensible name to cut.
Interestingly, however, Connell didn’t drop down to the B list either. He’s listed on the official UEFA website as having been left out of both lists along with youngsters out on loan such as Scott Robertson, Ryan Mullen, and Kerr McInroy respectively.
A squad packed with options
Whilst Connell shouldn’t be too downbeat about dropping out, Laxalt should be excited by the decision. That now officially provides him with the opportunity to take on AC Milan in the first group stage game at Celtic Park – the club he’s currently on loan from.
Other notable names in the squad include the likes of David Turnbull, Ismaila Soro, and Conor Hazard respectively. The former looks like he’ll be playing a part at some stage after his summer switch from Motherwell. Hazard and Soro, however, will be used as back-up.
Celtic have been drawn in the group stage against Milan, Lille, and Sparta Prague respectively. All three provide generally fresh competition for the Hoops, and it’s a chance for all of our players to make their mark against some top sides.
Reading through the Europa League squad selected today, there aren’t any further changes that you would generally make. With the likes of Karamoko Dembele, Stephen Welsh, and Mikey Johnston in the B list – Celtic’s academy is well represented.
All eyes now switch forward to the opening game against Milan at Parkhead. It should be a cracker, and hopefully Laxalt can show his permanent employers what they’re missing.