Celtic youngster Manny Perez managed to bag himself some positive press with a brilliant strike and man-of-the-match award for North Carolina.
The USA right-back is currently out on loan with the USL side for the rest of the season. Not much has been heard from him since he initially signed for the Hoops back in January 2019 and immediately left for the States a month later.
However, he’s been going about his business well since the USL campaign restarted back in August. He’s managed to start five of the last six matches for North Carolina, but he produced his best display of the campaign over the weekend against Legion FC.
Bagging his first goal for the club on his 35th appearance for them, Perez smashed home a superb back-post volley to open the scoring after just seven minutes. Have a look below if you’ve yet to see it:
— USL Championship (@USLChampionship) September 27, 2020
— North Carolina FC (@NorthCarolinaFC) September 27, 2020
Will Perez ever get his chance in Glasgow?
Due to arrive back after the 2020 USL campaign, it’s difficult to see where and when Perez will get his big opportunity to shine for the Hoops.
Even though he’s naturally a right-back, Perez does indeed have the skillset to play higher up as either a right-winger or right wing-back. He’s played the former role on plenty of occasions since his switch to North Carolina.
However, that could pose an issue when he returns. Ahead of him in the pecking order is both James Forrest and Jeremie Frimpong. Both men are currently battling for a spot in Celtic’s 3-5-2 system, and that makes for extremely tough competition if you’re looking at things from Perez’s perspective.
There is a potential opening down the left side given Greg Taylor has struggled to knock his opportunities out of the park. But Perez isn’t suited to the left-side, and has yet to truly be given a run of games in the position.
Regardless, that’s a battle for another day. Perez’s main goal will be to simply continue making an impact in the USL. It would perhaps be an idea to allow him a move to the MLS in the future if he proves himself worthy of it. At 21 years of age, he’s still got plenty of development in him yet, so it’s important not to be too hasty on his future.
More headlines like he made over the weekend will do him no harm either.