Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley is more likely to stay at Parkhead for longer rather than return to England, according to former Hoops striker Frank McAvennie.
The Lowdown: O’Riley shining at Celtic
The 21-year-old joined Celtic from MK Dons during the January transfer window, having impressed across the border in League One in the first half of last season.
It could be that interest comes from English clubs once again, given his current form, but there appears to be hope that the midfielder won’t be going anywhere.
The Latest: McAvennie makes positive claim
That’s certainly the opinion of McAvennie, who told Football Insider that the pace of the SPL suits O’Riley’s game better:
“Listen, nobody noticed him [at MK Dons] and then Ange noticed him. His idea of a player is different to everyone else’s. I do not know if O’Riley has got the pace for English football now. I think he is quick but the pace in England is frightening.
“I do not know if he would want to leave at the moment. I think he is really enjoying it, his family are Celtic supporters.
“Why would you want to go down to a team in the bottom half of England? He has just arrived really. I am not too concerned about him. I think they will get another year out of him.”
The Verdict: Brilliant long-term prospect
O’Riley looks like a fabulous young footballer, possessing such natural technical ability and already enjoying such a big influence for Ange Postecoglou’s side.
Will Postecoglou sign a new deal?
Presenter Jack Collins felt he produced a ‘masterclass’ of a performance in Tuesday’s 1-1 Champions League draw at home to Shakhtar Donetsk, as he performed on football’s biggest club stage.
O’Riley’s current Celtic deal runs until the summer of 2026, and on this current evidence, the hope is that he stays until that point and beyond, given his long-term potential.
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