Why Celtic shouldn't expect a Timothy Weah reunion this Thursday night

By David Walton

October 27, 2020

When the Europa League draw was made, you could forgive some Celtic fans for automatically being drawn to the prospect of facing Timothy Weah.

It’s the perfect revenge story after all, isn’t it? For a player whose loan spell at Celtic ended so controversially under Neil Lennon back in 2019 (Daily Record), the thought of him coming back to face Lennon’s Hoops in Europe would usually draw inevitable conclusions.

But a Weah hat-trick followed by another brace in Glasgow on matchday six certainly doesn’t look as likely as it would normally feel. Nah, with Celtic gearing up to face Lille in Europa League matchday two on Thursday night, the truth is we shouldn’t expect to see Weah at all.

Neil Lennon spoke in the Celtic View (October 7th, page 06) about a potential reunion with his former striker, and sounded like he was looking forward to the prospect. Lennon said: “He did very well for me in a few of the games. He was more of a squad player coming off the bench, but he started a couple of games and got himself a couple of goals, so it’ll be good to see him again.”

But seeing him again is really all we should expect. Actually coming up against up on the pitch? It’s getting more and more unlikely.

Weah not making the impact in France that he would’ve hoped

Weah suffered a pretty horrific muscle injury that kept him out for much of last season. When he returned in February, he again picked up another knock, this time a hamstring tear, that would keep him sidelined for the rest of the Ligue 1 season.

The USA international ended the campaign with just three appearances, and with Lille adding the likes of Jonathan David to their ranks over the summer, it’s pushed Weah even further down the pecking order.

Granted, injuries haven’t been a problem for him this season. But even though he’s appeared in five of Lille’s nine competitive games this campaign, he’s only managed 41 minutes of action (Transfermarkt).

Weah is struggling at Lille (Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Weah was also surprisingly left out of the Lille squad for Sunday’s draw with Nice. Why that was the case is anyone’s guess, especially with manager Christophe Galtier trying to rotate his squad.

The only scenario where it feels likely that Weah will appear in is if Lille really are chasing the game or perhaps running away with it. There’s no confirmation as to why he missed the Nice game either, so it could also be the case that he’s picked up another knock.

Regardless, any reunion with Weah on the pitch is looking highly unlikely. At least this time around. Hopefully, he can get himself up and running in France as soon as possible though – the youngster was a superb personality during his time in Glasgow.