Noel Whelan suggested Celtic attacker Daniel Arzani may feel like a new signing for Neil Lennon after his appearance against Partick Thistle.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Laura O’Leary, the ex-striker admitted that Arzani could end up stopping Lennon dipping into the transfer market to improve his squad.
The 21-year-old replaced Tom Rogic in the 85th minute of the Hoops’ 2-1 win over Partick Thistle on Saturday in order to make his first appearance of the season.
Arzani has only managed a total of two appearances for the Hoops since joining the club on loan from Manchester City due to a serious knee injury.
Whelan pointed out the Hoops winger now has an opportunity to prove himself to Lennon as he could convince him that he can play a part in the rest of the season.
When asked if Lennon giving Arzani game time is an unexpected boost for the player as he may feel like the 21-year-old is an ace up his sleeve, Whelan told Football Insider: “Well yeah, as you’d think to yourself, do I need to spend money on this position?
“If he can do a job, he doesn’t need to go out into the transfer market.
“So it’s a good opportunity for Neil to see players he hasn’t seen much of and it’s an opportunity for the players to say ‘hey you don’t need to buy anybody else’ I can do a job.
“It’s down to the player, it’s up to the player to convince Lennon that he doesn’t need anyone else in that position and that you’re good enough to fight for a place.
“And I’m there, available and ready.
“Neil will know he’s in a fight for this title, he needs quality players and to be able to use their squad, as they’re in every cup at the minute so there’s a lot of games for Celtic to play.
“It’s a great opportunity for Neil, and the player may feel like a new signing.”
The Hoops’ loan deal with Manchester City regarding Arzani is due to expire at the end of the season.
The 21-year-old, who has six caps for Australia, joined Man City from Melbourne City in 2018 and his contract with the Premier League club isn’t due to expire until 2021.