Lewis Morgan was an unlikely stand-in for injured Odsonne Edouard in last night’s Europa League game against Rennes, but he fulfilled his role of striker perfectly by putting the ball in the net. We have seen a few iterations of players who make a relatively slow start to their Celtic careers before a spectacular lift-off.
Edouard is a notable example, but Morgan’s earlier form at Celtic is more reminiscent of Ryan Christie, who struggled to look the part, making only a handful of appearances during loan spells in his first three years as a Celtic player. Ryan and Odsonne are now contenders for this season’s Player of the Year.
It would be ridiculous to suggest Lewis is on a similar trajectory but something has changed at Celtic in recent years. We have rediscovered how to make European-class football players. The three decades of failure in this respect was never about the lack of raw talent, it was a developmental problem.
Mikey Johnston showed enough last night to remind us of his prodigious talent. Like Morgan, he did a stint as stand-in striker, although not as successfully. I often think that Christie needs a player who can think and move in the same way he does to be most effective. Johnston is the nearest fit we have.