Timo Weah has nothing but brilliant things to say about Neil Lennon and Celtic; World Cup revisit

By John McGinley

November 22, 2022

Timothy Weah’s goal for the USA team against Wales at the World Cup last night threw up a lot of thoughts for Celtic fans watching on at home, with plenty reminiscing about his loan spell at the Hoops.

Weah signed for the Hoops on loan from Paris Saint-Germain in early January 2019, just before Brendan Rodgers’ dramatic exit and Neil Lennon’s return to the club.

He went on to make 17 appearances for the club in all competitions, scoring four goals and assisting another. Only four of those games came as starts, with the rest of his showings off the bench.

Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

The US international left at the end of his loan, which some remember as somewhat acrimonious given he prioritised U20 World Cup duty over the clutch of competitive games at the end of Celtic’s season, including the Scottish Cup final.

It became clear he wouldn’t be joining the Bhoys on a permanent basis, with the player eventually joining Lille, where he remains.

However, there’s actually no beef between Weah and Lennon or Celtic, which became apparent when he gave the press quotes 18 months later. In fact, he was glowing in his appraisal of both.

As quoted by The Daily Record, he said in December 2020: “When I was at Celtic we had fun, training was fun and we were a winning team and top of the league. The coaching staff was amazing to me as a person and as a player.

“They took the time to work with me and the bond that we had as a team and the coaching staff was amazing. Neil was great to me, I left the club in a bit of a rush because of the World Cup and things happen but overall he was a great coach and we loved him.

“He’s a top motivator, he was a player himself and he knows what it’s like to have difficult moments and to not be on your A Game. He was always there for us. The supporters at Celtic are amazing and for me, they’re the best I’ve ever seen.”

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

A long-term relationship between Celtic and Weah simply wasn’t to be. That happens. It doesn’t need to result in dramatic tension or the dredging up of grievances, as I’ve seen in some quarters over the last 24 hours.

In the years since, he’s had his ups and downs with injuries really hampering his progress in Ligue 1. He’s yet to score more than three goals in a single season, so there’s no guaranteed he’d have been at success at the Bhoys.

Ultimately though it’s fantastic to see him shine on the world stage as he did last night. His run and finish up against the Welsh was fantastic. Hopefully he goes from strength to strength now. Still just 22, there’s plenty of time for him to find himself as a consistent force at the elite level.

In other news, Celtic coach arrives at the World Cup for co-commentary duties.