Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Celtic: Aaron Mooy has been “immense” in Qatar

Scottish champions Celtic currently have a handful of representatives at the World Cup, with one Hoops asset who has been catching the eye that of midfielder, Aaron Mooy, with the 32-year-old having perhaps staked his claim for a more prominent role at Parkhead after starring for his country.

The experienced asset has endured something of an underwhelming start to life in Glasgow, having started just eight games in all competitions so far this term for Ange Postecoglou’s side after joining on a free transfer this summer.

The former Brighton and Hove Albion man notably endured a miserable outing on his first Scottish Premiership start in the defeat to St Mirren back in September, having been hooked at half-time in that disappointing showing after appearing one of the “sloppier” members of the side, in the words of pundit Stiliyan Petrov.

Ex-Bhoys striker Charlie Nicholas also noted that ‘every time Aaron Mooy has come into the side he looks a yard off the pace’, with it looking as if the one-time Huddersfield Town man could follow teammate James McCarthy in becoming something of a failed addition for the Old Firm outfit.

Despite that shaky start, the Sydney-born sensation has since shown signs of life since then for the Scottish giants, making the most of Callum McGregor’s absence to join Matt O’Riley and Reo Hatate as part of the midfield trio on occasion.

The 55-cap maestro boasts three assists in the top flight so far this season, with that an impressive haul considering only five of his 13 league appearances have come from the start.

That fact has ensured Mooy still has a way to go to truly establish himself in Postecoglou’s side, although the £23k-per-week may well have bolstered his hopes of a regular starting berth as a result of his displays on the international stage over the past week or so.

Having been tipped to “make an impact” at the tournament by his club boss, the 5 foot 9 man has gone on to do just that in his first two group games in Qatar, having looked particularly impressive in the recent triumph over Tunisia.

That latest outing saw the Hoops man produce a truly dominant showing in the centre of the park, having been described as something of a “man mountain” and a “warrior” by BBC pundit Alex Scott.

That impact was evident as Mooy recorded three tackles, two interceptions, two blocked shots and two clearances to help steer the Socceroos to victory, while also winning four of his six ground duels in what was a truly industrious midfield display.

1 of 10

Who is this former Celtic player?

Such work rate and defensive quality was notably lauded by journalist Josh Bunting, who stated that: “Aaron Mooy incredible has covered every blade of grass, immense shift from the midfielder.”

While typically a technical, classy operator, such a showing may well have shown another side to Mooy’s game, with the hope being that he can replicate that aggression and fight when he returns to Paradise in the coming weeks.

On the evidence of Saturday’s performance, the summer signing could well have warranted a place in Postecoglou’s starting lineup moving forward.