Our View: Luca Connell must make most of Celtic opportunity

By John Reid

February 1, 2020

Celtic sent a few of their prospects on loan during the January transfer window. Lee O’Connor, Jonathan Afolabi, Conor Hazard and Grant Savoury all departed the club.

One player who didn’t leave though, was summer signing Luca Connell, who joined the Hoops in the summer from Bolton.

Connell, who is still only 18, was linked with a move to Sunderland and Bolton, with Sky Sports journalist Lyall Thomas Tweeting that both sides were in talks to sign the player.

Celtic boss Neil Lennon also seemed keen for the player to get a move in January.

“It might be good for Luca to get out and get some games. He’s playing well with the development team.” he said, as quoted by the Scottish Sun.

Celtic starlet Luca Connell (Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

However, no move occurred, and Connell is still at Celtic Park.

Player has first-team experience

What happens next with Connell will certainly be interesting, as it should be remembered that the player has some first-team experience, despite his young age.

Last season he made 12 appearances for Bolton. That should give him a bit of a leg-up on his teammates in the Celtic development team, which is mostly made up of youth players who don’t have first-team experience.

Celtic duo Luca Connell and Jonathan Afolabi (Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Now that Connell is remaining at Celtic for the rest of the season, the player should look to impress in the development side to try to make his first-team breakthrough.

Should look to emulate teammate

One player that Connell should be looking to emulate is Jeremie Frimpong. Frimpong was likely expected to be a development squad player for the Hoops when he joined the club in the summer from Manchester City.

However, he has become a first-regular under Neil Lennon, who has not been afraid to play him in some big games even though he is only 19.

Perhaps Connell can do the same, now that he has overcome the injury problem that Lennon discussed. Should Connell make the breakthrough to the first-team this season, not leaving in the January window could be the best thing that ever happened to him.