Neil Lennon should explain what's going on with Marian Shved

By John McGinley

August 22, 2019

There were lots of positives to take from tonight’s Celtic win over AIK.

Neil Lennon’s side produced a solid performance to build a 2-0 leader that should give us the platform to progress to the group stages of the UEFA Europa League.

We’ve already taken a look at tonight’s top performers with our player ratings, had a gander at what fans were saying about Boli Bolingoli and picked out Michael Stewart’s comments on Christopher Jullien as noteworthy.

However, there is one negative to tackle – the complete absence of summer arrival Marian Shved.

Lennon chose to leave him out of the squad entirely, instead giving a place on the bench to Lewis Morgan. The Scottish winger also got minutes on the pitch late in the match.

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Why is Shved not getting a game ahead of him? It’s a situation growing more concerning with every match.

A curious signing

If you cast your mind back to January you’ll remember that former boss Brendan Rodgers didn’t seem particularly enthused about the Shved signing.

He told Sky Sports: “I can’t say I know a great deal about him but what I have seen he is a talent and something that will probably benefit the club in the future.”

Hardly the ringing endorsement you expect a manager to provide about an imminent arrival.

At the time, people questioned who at the club pushed to sign the 22-year-old. That kicked off a mystery that has rumbled on ever since.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Why no chances?

As last season went on and he continued to impress on loan back in Ukraine, fans were excited about his arrival regardless of Rodgers’ comments.

When he eventually got 20 minutes of action against Nomme Kalju this summer, scoring on his debut, that was further heightened.

Since then though Lennon has not given him a chance. Not one. Not a single minute.

It’s confusing because he seems to be quite the talent and someone who can inject some fresh ideas into the attack from the bench or even from the start of matches.

James Forrest and Mikey Johnston are clearly our first choice wingers, but is there any reason to give Morgan opportunities over a new, exciting signing who needs to prove himself at the club?

If the player is struggling to settle in Scotland that would be understandable. Perhaps he’s not fit enough right now. There’s even a chance he’s not showing enough in training.

Lennon must have his reasons.

With a bit of mystery surrounding his initial arrival and real hope he can be a quality signing, the manager should at least let fans know what the situation is and what those reasons are.