Celtic midfielder Lewis Morgan says he is determined to obtain regular game-time for the Hoops in the 2019/20 season after spending time out on loan.
The 22-year-old told Celtic TV: “I’m really looking forward to this season and hopefully I can be a bigger part of things. Everyone’s aim is to play a part at this club. It’s massive and I want to play my part.
“The manager has given me the chance in the first couple of games, and hopefully I can keep repaying the faith for him.”
As Morgan alluded to in his comments, he has been given his chance by Neil Lennon in Celtic’s Champions League qualifying campaign.
He played in both legs of the first qualifying round tie against Sarajevo, setting up Scott Sinclair’s goal in the first leg in Bosnia and starting at left-back in the second leg in place of the injured Kieran Tierney.
After playing just 13 games for Celtic in which he was “unconvincing“, according to David Walton of 67hailhail.com, Morgan went on loan to Sunderland. He made 22 appearances for the Black Cats, scoring twice and providing four assists as they reached two Wembley finals last season.
Having had just 304 minutes of game-time for the Hoops in 2018/19, he played 1,353 minutes in his spell at Sunderland, so he returns to Celtic Park with plenty more experience under his belt after averaging a goal per 676.5 minutes and an assist every 338.25 minutes at the Stadium of Light.
If Morgan is to obtain more frequent action for Celtic this season, it might not be in his natural left midfield role, given that he has Sinclair and Mikey Johnston as competition for that berth.
Sinclair scored 17 goals and supplied six assists in 3,484 minutes last season, one goal per 204.9 minutes and an assist every 580.67 minutes. Johnston had 1,063 minutes of game-time for the Hoops in 2018/19, scoring five goals (one per 212.6 minutes) and providing one assist.
He could continue to deputise at left-back in Tierney’s absence and he has also played in right-sided, central and attacking midfield roles, so his role in Celtic’s team might be a fluid and changeable one.
While Morgan may not be as prolific as Sinclair or Johnston, his superior creativity averages on both players should help to persuade Lennon to give him a more sustained run in Celtic’s first team in the 2019/20 season.
That he has already played 111 minutes for the Hoops this season, 36.5% of his total Celtic game-time for 2018/19, is a sign that Lennon will grant Morgan’s wish of greater involvement in the Scottish champions’ first team. With his versatility and ability to create scoring chances, he looks capable of making his mark in Celtic’s line-up in the coming months.
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