BRENDAN RODGERS admitted he has ditched plans to put new Bhoy Kundai Benyu out on loan.
The Celtic boss was massively impressed by the 19-year-old midfielder, signed from Ipswich Town just over two weeks ago, against Lyon yesterday.
London-born Benyu was outstanding in the first-half of the friendly at Parkhead and, understandably, tired after the break as the makeshift Hoops outfit conceded four goals without reply.
The teenager spent last season on loan at Aldershot, but displayed signs he is ready for a step up with a performance that combined strength, skill and awareness against a very good French side.
Rodgers admitted: “He’s been very good. He’s surprised me, to be honest. We knew he was a good player.
“You see what we’re trying to build here in terms of players being technically gifted.
“But they have to have good mobility and good physicality. And he has that. He’s played with a nice little edge, he’s competitive. And he’s got a confidence.
“We will see how he develops. Initially, the plan was to have him in, thinking he can get an idea of how we work and then go on loan.
“But I’ve sort of changed my mind, really, over the last period of time just watching him.
“I think it’s going to be good for him to probably come in and have six months in here to see how we train, how we work, get an education in our footballing idea then review in January and see where he is at.
“He’s certainly a boy who can contribute for us.”
Benyu insisted he wants to remain at Parkhead rather go out on loan – and he’s not fazed by the competition in the treble-winners’ midfield department.
He said: “I loved it, it was a good experience. I wasn’t expecting to start, but I knew I’d be involved. I was happy to take part and play 70 minutes which was good for fitness.
“Impressing the manager was my main objective. He wasn’t sure if I was going to go on loan, but I’ve come in, worked as hard as I can, so I’m happy to stay and fight for my place.
“I’d much rather be settled in Glasgow with the boys playing every week in the league.
“Given time, working as hard as I can in training and listening to the gaffer and his advice, I think I’ll be able to get in the team as much as I can.
“But I think I’m ready to step in now if I have to, if the gaffer calls upon me. The main objective is to keep working hard every day.
“The gaffer has given me six months to work as hard as I can, but I’m looking to stay for longer and fight for my place in the time.”
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