Celtic plan to fast-track Luca Connell into the first team this season after making an increasingly big impression on the coaching staff in training, Football Insider has learned.
The 18-year-old was signed in the summer from Bolton Wanderers on a four-year deal after the Hoops agreed to pay a sizeable compensation fee to the cash-strapped club.
A Celtic source has told Football Insider that Connell has already started to make an impression on manager Lennon and his backroom team.
They regard him as a huge talent and and are preparing to integrate him into the senior team in the second half of the season.
Connell is yet to force his way into the Celtic team like another teenage summer arrival, the exciting right-back Jeremie Frimpong, who is also 18.
But he is making strong progress at the club’s Lennoxtown headquarters, where he trains regularly with the senior squad.
Connell is still waiting to make the Hoops matchday 18 for the first team and has had to be content with learning his trade for the club’s development side.
But he is getting up to speed at the training ground and the staff believe there will be a senior role for him as the campaign progresses.
Connell is predominantly a central midfielder but he also versatile enough to slot in at left-back, positions he has played for club and country.
He made 12 appearances in all competitions for Bolton after breaking into their side in the English Championship last season has been capped by Republic of Ireland at Under-19 level.