Jackie McNamara questions how much game time Lee O’Connor will get at Celtic this season despite the 19-year-old being set to make his international debut.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Hoops and Scotland star says that the teenage talent might have to wait a while before getting his first-team chance at Parkhead but that he has certainly caught the eye of the national side.
The Republic of Ireland FA confirmed their team news against New Zealand a day early, revealing that O’Connor would line up wearing number two for his first senior appearance for his country.
2 International debuts!
2 First-time starters!
Here is your Ireland team for tomorrow's @ThreeIreland International Friendly against New Zealand
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) November 13, 2019
McNamara admits he is a little in the dark over the summer arrival and suggests that he might be moved out on loan in January to boost his chances of playing regular football.
McNamara told Football Insider: “I’ve not really seen the boy play but they must rate him over in Ireland, putting him in the squad.
“(On first-team chances at Celtic) It depends on form and injuries, you’ve got a lot of players ahead of him just now. Every game is absolutely crucial, he’s not making a lot of changes now is Neil.
“(On a potential loan move) It’s possible, aye.”
O’Connor will make his international bow before appearing for Celtic’s first-team, the youngster yet to make a single matchday squad for the Hoops this season.
He never featured for Manchester United’s first-team either, while he has 10 under-21 caps for the Republic of Ireland.
In other Celtic news, Alan Hutton has tipped a Hoops giant to undertake a new role at Parkhead.