This season has been plagued with issues for Celtic and their supporters. Parkhead is no longer a fortress and no longer is it the home of the most dominant team in Scottish football.
That title now, unfortunately, belongs to the club’s fiercest rivals and Celtic have a number of figures to thank for their downfall, whether it be Neil Lennon or Peter Lawwell.
Once the season ends and the summer arrives, both figures will have left their respective roles in Glasgow.
Lennon never delivered results this term either. The defence was a horror show with the Bhoys conceding 19 in just six Europa League games. There has been another deeper issue, though. That belongs with the club’s academy.
The Old Firm clubs chose to withdraw their reserve teams from the SPFL Reserve League in 2019 but it hasn’t necessarily benefitted the Hoops. The short end of the story is that if you’re a young player at Celtic Park, you’re unlikely to earn game time.
Cameron Harper has already gone back to his native America while it’s looking unlikely that Karamoko Dembele will sign a new contract. The positive, however, is that Celtic are looking to make amends.
With the Hoops hierarchy on the lookout for a new manager with a proven track record of developing young players, those in the club’s academy should be licking their lips and jumping up and down with excitement.
One such player is attacking midfielder Owen Moffat. The 19-year-old has never been seen in the Celtic first-team but it’s clear the higher-ups rate him quite considerably.
Moffat, who has been with the club a total of 12 years, penned new terms only last summer. He then renewed them in January. Unlike Dembele and Harper, he clearly sees a future for himself in Glasgow.
There are understandable reasons behind Celtic’s desire to keep him, mainly because he occupies similar spaces to that of David Turnbull. Moffat has a canny knack of arriving late in the penalty area and it’s a quality that’s seen him score plenty of goals at academy level.
The 19-year-old popped up to score against Inverness Caledonian Thistle late last year after some lapse marking. Moffat broke forward and then darted into the penalty area to get on the end of the cross.
Owen Moffat scored to make it 3 pic.twitter.com/AsAEaEGgjd
— Lewis 🍋 (@LewisLaird01) November 24, 2020
The finish could have been better but he still found the back of the net. It was the perfect sight for those who rate him so viciously.
He has netted against Dundee United as well this term and if anything underlies his qualities, it was a sensational strike against Vendee in the Milk Cup back in 2019. To say he knows where the net is would be an understatement.
With Tom Rogic a target for many clubs in Asia, there could well be a hole to fill in Celtic’s attacking midfield. So many academy stars have questioned their future at the club, but Moffat is someone who has stuck around.
As such, he deserves a chance in the senior side. Like Turnbull, he has proven he’s got the ability to score goals from midfield. That is crucial.