Celtic’s Luca Connell had not made a first-team breakthrough for the club before the football lockdown, in some ways that is perhaps a bit surprising, whilst in other ways it is to be expected.
The fact that Connell already had first-team experience before joining the Hoops might have led you to believe that he would be given a real chance of first-team action when he arrived at Celtic Park.
Played first-team games at 17
After all, for Bolton he had played 12 first-team games, starting at the age of 17. Bolton’s financial issues may have meant that they were forced to turn to their youth system. However, it is still testament to Connell’s talent that he managed to play so many games in the Championship.
Therefore, maybe after playing at a high level so early in his career, he would have been expected to feature for the Hoops first-team – however, he has yet to make an appearance after joining the Hoops in the summer.
Hoops have plenty of midfielders
However, there is one reason why he might not have made the breakthrough – the position that he plays in. Connell is a defensive midfielder, and the Hoops currently have plenty of players who can feature in that position.
The likes of Nir Bitton and Olivier Ntcham have played there on numerous occasions. Scott Brown and even Callum McGregor could be candidates to play in that position if need be.
That is why there is no need for Connell to be concerned about his current situation. It should also be remembered that he is still only 18, and has his entire footballing career ahead of him.
However, after a season of playing for the Hoops’ Academy/Reserves side, next season – whenever that takes place – he will want to make a breakthrough of sorts into the Hoops first-team squad.
That might depend on players leaving Celtic. However, if Connell can impress for the Academy side, he could earn a call-up. That is what happened to Jeremie Frimpong, and Connell should be aiming to follow in his footsteps.