Have Celtic made a mistake in leaving Lee O'Connor out of European squad?

By John Reid

September 7, 2019

Celtic recently announced their squad for the Europa League group stage fixtures. It was not really a surprise to see Jack Hendry, Callum Miller or new signing Jeremie Frimpong miss out.

However, it was perhaps a bit of a surprise that recent signing from Manchester United Lee O’Connor missed out on the squad.

On the face of it, the decision makes sense. The player has only just arrived at Celtic, and has been bought with one eye on the future.

Versatility could have seen player included

(Photo by Manchester United/Manchester United via Getty Images)

However, the fact that the player is so versatile means that the Hoops should have considered including him in the squad.

With the injury issues in defence that Celtic have, perhaps it would have been a good idea to include O’Connor, who can play at both full-back and centre-half.

Neil Lennon must be satisfied with the players he has included in his squad, but O’Connor could feature for the Hoops first-team at some stage this season.

Utility players are often very important parts of the first-team squad. Look at Celtic’s Nir Bitton for example.

He is a defensive midfielder technically. However, when he has been selected for Celtic recently, he has played at centre-back.

Plays at right-back for country

(Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

As yet, we don’t yet know where O’Connor’s preferred position for Celtic will be. He played at right-back for the Ireland under-21 side in their recent 1-0 win over Armenia.

Could that be his position for Celtic? The Hoops already have a number of right-backs at the club. Perhaps the club will mould him into a centre-back. That could be a possibility.

O’Connor might not have featured often in the Europa League even if he had made the squad. However, it is never a bad thing to have versatile players in your squad. Only time will tell if Celtic made an error in not including this versatile player in the Europa League squad.