By Frank McAvennie

24th Sep, 2020 | 12:00pm

Pundit Exclusive: Lennon told to axe Celtic 25-yr-old & start barely-seen midfielder v Riga

Frank McAvennie suggests Celtic manager Neil Lennon drop Ryan Christie and play Callum McGregor in the number 10 for this evening’s Europa League qualifier against Riga.

The former Hoops and West Ham striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, was also hopeful that summer signing David Turnbull would be handed his first start for the club.

The 21-year-old has only featured as a substitute since his arrival from Motherwell with Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, Ryan Christie and Callum McGregor preferred in midfield.

Christie has started all but one of Celtic’s games in the 2020/21 campaign, a 5-0 thrashing of Ross County earlier this month.

His nine appearances this season have yielded an impressive three goals and five assists but McAvennie is adamant that McGregor, who has been playing in a deeper-lying midfield position, can replace him in the advance role.

“Turnbull is fine at the moment but I would like to see him in the team because he is a different type of player to what we have got,” he told Football Insider. He will hopefully start against Riga, that would be great.

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“I like Ntcham and Brown in the midfield because it gives them a bit of security.

“Ryan is shooting from everywhere at the moment because his confidence is that high and I would like to see McGregor play in that number 10 role instead of him. He can do that number 10 role with his eyes closed.”

The Hoops take on Latvian champions Riga today, one month on from their shock Champions League exit to Ferencvaros.

Odsonne Edouard, who watched on from the bench as Neil Lennon’s side beat Livingston last weekend, is expected to return.

In other Celtic news, it can be REVEALED that Southampton and West Brom are battling to sign Hoops player before the 5 October transfer deadline.