MATT O’RILEY will be forgiven for expecting he would showcasing his talents in soccer’s showpiece in Germany this month.

The in-form playmaker stormed through the season in convincing fashion with 18 assists and 19 goals as he played a monumental role in Brendan Rodgers’ side’s double-winning campaign.

O’Riley had been tipped by many neutral observers to be a shoo-in for Kasper Hjulmand’s Denmark squad for the Euro 24 Finals, but astonishingly the head coach has snubbed the multi-talented Celt in a decision which left former Hoops star Thomas Gravesen raging, as CQN reported yesterday.

PICK IT OUT…Matt O’Riley fires in his second goal and Celtic’s fifth during the champions’ title romp over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park to seal the third successive Premiership crown.
The 23-year-old London-born midfielder attracted the attention of La Liga giants Atletico Madrid following his performances in the Champions League during the season and other teams have been credited with an interest in the quality performer.
Now O’Riley will spend the summer watching his adopted nation in action when they play their three games in Group H, with a match against England scheduled for June 16.
Former Celtic goal hero Chris Sutton offers his verdict on the will-he-or-won’t-he transfer situation and says: “The question now is, what happens next?
“There’s been this assumption he’ll be going, but it doesn’t have to be the case. It will depend on his options and how much clubs are willing to pay.”Celtic are financially strong and have no need to let him go on the cheap. Missing out on the Euros could have a knock-on effect on his value in the transfer market.

“But Celtic don’t need to sell anyway. The fact he’s not in the shop window could be a positive for Brendan Rodgers in all of this.

LOST IN THOUGHT…Matt O’Riley has a moment of contemplation during Celtic’s 5-0 rout of Kilmarnock on the evening they sealed the third title in a row and the club’s twelfth in 13 years.

“You see it around every big tournament. Someone comes in, has a couple of good games and there’s a scramble to sign them for big money.

“But who is to say that would have happened with O’Riley? He could have gone there and been on the bench, and being part of it wouldn’t have made any difference.

“At least now, from a Celtic point of view, he will get the chance to rest up and away from all the summer headlines. I’m sure there will still be bids, but it could have an impact on the level of clubs that come in.”

Sutton, speaking to the Daily Record, continued: “O’Riley seems to have a solid head on his shoulders and won’t just jump at the first opportunity. It will need to be right for him – as well as for Celtic.

“If it’s something like £30million, it’s a no-brainer for all. But, if not, we could see O’Riley deciding to stick around for another season, have another crack at the Champions League and see where it takes him.

“Look, there’s every chance he could go, but I just think there’s still a strong possibility he could be around next term.”

HOOP HOOP HOORAY…Matt O’Riley and Reo Hatate celebrate another Celtic success.

The one-time England international striker also reckons Hjulmand “is taking more of a gamble by not picking O’Riley.”

Sutton added: “You should always go with the form players and no-one can deny O’Riley was bang in form in the final part of the season.

“He scored eight goals in his last 10 games, including five in the last four that sealed the Premiership title. Then I look at who Denmark did select.

“There’s no doubt Christian Eriksen is a legend. He’s been a tremendous player wherever he’s been. But he’s not had a great season at Manchester United. Eriksen only started 12 Premier League games and was subbed off in 10 of them.

“He only started two games in the Champions League and spent the majority of the campaign either on the bench or injured. He only managed one goal all term – against Nottingham Forest last August.

“You can understand the Danes wanting someone with his experience, but I can’t quite fathom why they wouldn’t want a player with the energy and return that O’Riley has produced over the last 12 months.”

It’s a decision that has already led to a backlash for the Danish team chief and could be followed by a backfire if his nation flops in the soccer extravaganza.

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