Despite the final result, there appeared to be some positives to come from the game for the Bhoys as Ben Wylie caught the eye in midfield. The youngster was twice denied by the Spartans goalkeeper and set up a good opening for Bruno Davidson in the first half, showing promise in the middle of the park.
Ange Postecoglou will surely be keeping a close eye on developments in the B team as he looks out for talents who could have the quality to make the step up to the senior side. Bringing through an academy player has many benefits; including saving money on signing an established first-team player from elsewhere and appeasing the fans by giving minutes to a promising homegrown gem.
In Wylie, Celtic could have one of those players. Postecoglou could unearth the new David Turnbull by unleashing the rarely-seen 19-year-old at first-team level to see how he adapts to senior football on a regular basis for the Scottish giants.
He can play out wide on the left and through the middle as a central midfielder, mirroring Turnbull’s positional flexibility as a player. Wylie also has the reputation at youth level to suggest that he has the potential to move up a stage into senior football.
Linfield manager David Healy, who is no stranger to Celtic fans with his Rangers connection, gave a glowing recommendation on Wylie. He said:
“Ben is a midfielder who is tidy on the ball.
“He has a swagger about him, which is a good thing. He can play in numerous positions, and I hope he gets the chance to do that at Celtic because it will really bring him on.”
He was also lauded by Ballymena United boss David Jeffrey earlier this year after joining the club on loan. Jeffrey said:
“He has joined us in training and it’s clear he’s a superb young man and an outstanding talent, so to get someone of his ability onboard is fantastic.”
These comments from Jeffrey and Healy suggest that Celtic have a very talented young prospect on their hands in central midfield. He has shown both of them enough to warrant high praise and continues to catch the eye for Celtic’s B team. Like Turnbull, he is tidy and has that arrogance to his attacking play that will no doubt benefit the Hoops moving forward.
It is now down to Postecoglou to unlock his ability in the first-team by exposing him to Scottish Premiership action as he could become a new Turnbull in the middle of the park. Given that they can both play out wide or centrally, Wylie and Turnbull could even link up in the same system for the Hoops.