Celtic have received an injury boost this week with Daniel Arzani playing for the reserves after 10 months on the sidelines due to injury.
Arzani tore his ACL on his Hoops debut last October. There had been plenty of anticipation surrounding the winger as Brendan Rodgers took his time before promoting the Manchester City loanee to the first-team at Parkhead.
He looked bright while he was on the pitch, almost providing an assist. But the 20-year-old has a lot to prove as he makes his way back towards full fitness. Not only is he on City’s books, but he will be looking to show why Celtic decided to commit to a two-year loan.
His return for the reserves in their clash with Hibernian on Tuesday is an exciting step. The Australian will be hoping that Neil Lennon will soon be weighing up whether to hand him another chance in the first-team.
And perhaps next week’s Scottish League Cup tie with Partick Thistle could be the ideal game to bring Arzani back into the fold if he is fit enough by then.
Perfect game for Arzani’s return?
In an ideal world, the Hoops would have a comfortable lead against the second tier side heading into the latter stages of the contest. That could allow Lennon to give Arzani a substantial number of minutes to shake off any remaining rustiness.
With two Europa League games ahead in their next five, as well as two tricky Premiership fixtures, the Partick tie may be the best opportunity to pick Arzani again.
He needs to prove that he is fit enough to be involved. But if he is, then Lennon should consider taking a gamble on the youngster.
Having a player of Arzani’s quality available for the coming months could be a real boost. And the Partick game could perhaps be the perfect opportunity to unleash the winger once again.