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Celtic: The case for Luca Connell

For those in the Celtic reserve side, their chances of securing regular first-team action seems difficult to envisage.

That was certainly the case under a stubborn Neil Lennon. Very rarely did the northern Irishman change his methods and it eventually led to his downfall.

An underlying problem at Parkhead has been the lack of opportunities for their young players. Cameron Harper has headed back to America as a result, while the likes of Armstrong Oko-Flex and Karamoko Dembele look set to depart when their contracts expire in the summer.

With that in mind, they have to start handing more minutes out. Adam Montgomery has been on the bench since John Kennedy was put in interim charge but someone who must join him is Luca Connell.

The 19-year-old joined in 2019 from Bolton Wanderers but has, rather bizarrely, never been given a chance in the senior side.

Does Connell deserve a chance?

Definitely

Definitely

Not yet

Not yet

The teenager arrived with 12 appearances for Bolton in the EFL to his name, something which makes his lack of football in Glasgow even stranger.

When he put pen to paper two years ago, he surely wasn’t expecting to sit in the reserves. With the Bhoys signing Liam Shaw in a few months time, another with a similar level of experience under his belt as Connell, he will be hoping his career doesn’t follow in a similar path.

The Hoops have little to play for between now and the end of the season so throwing in players like Connell wouldn’t be a bad idea. By giving him minutes, it could help Kennedy and co. prepare for Scott Brown’s potential exit.

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The veteran is out of contract in the summer and thus, there will be a vacancy in the middle of the park to fill. Ismaila Soro will be at the front of the queue but following behind should be Connell.

He is strong in the tackle and assured with his passing, earning numerous positive reviews in his short career to date.

Connell was given a chance to train with Ireland a few years ago and earned the following appraisal from Mick McCarthy, someone linked with the Celtic manager’s seat: “He’s a breath of fresh air around the place,” he began.

“He’s left-footed and he can certainly find a pass. He hits it with a bit of authority and lets people have the ball. He doesn’t mind putting his foot in either so he’s fitted in pretty well,” McCarthy concluded.

That final passage is what should excite Celtic supporters. As Brown and Soro have shown, you can’t play in this Hoops midfield without having a bit of bite about you. Despite his tender age, Connell possesses plenty of that.

With the Hoops skipper potentially on his way out, it is surely now or never in terms of the teenager’s Celtic career. Kennedy needs to give him a chance.

AND in other news, 109 dribbles: Celtic could seal huge Ryan Christie upgrade by signing 18-goal wizard…

Article title: Celtic: The case for Luca Connell

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