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Celtic prospect Luca Connell has wasted the past two years, says Ireland U-21 boss

Republic of Ireland U-21 manager Jim Crawford believes Celtic prospect Luca Connell has wasted two years of his career with the club.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, the former Reading midfielder claimed that the 20-year-old has thrown away the past two years.

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Connell joined Celtic in 2019 after being signed by Neil Lennon from Bolton. But the Liverpool-born prospect is yet to make a single first-team appearance for the Hoops.

A season in League Two after two years ‘wasted’

The youngster spent part of this season on-loan with Scottish League Two side Queen’s Park. Connell made nine appearances and scored twice for the Glasgow-based club.

Celtic fans left short-changed by Sky Sports once again

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Yet Crawford believes the past two years have been for nothing for the former Bolton star.

The Ireland U-21 boss said: “He’s another intelligent fella, he knows where he’s at, he knows he needs to be playing and it’s that two seasons of going off the radar which gave him time to reflect and say no, this is not what I am about, as I feel it’s two years wasted.”

Upcoming summer will be defining moment in Connell’s career

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With a loan spell under his belt with Queen’s Park, Celtic will need to assess Connell’s future ahead of the summer.

The versatile youngster is a talented player, but missing two years of his career would have hindered Connell’s development.

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And what Connell and Celtic decide on this summer will have ramifications as to how his career will shape up.

With experience playing in the Championship with Bolton from a young age, Connell is suited to playing in a division on par with the Scottish Premiership.

But with first-team chances non-existent at Celtic, a potential departure from the Scottish giants might be the best decision for the 20-year-old defensive prospect.

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