DAZZLING Daniel Arzani showed a glimpse of the form for the reserves today that persuaded Brendan Rodgers to offer him a two-year loan deal at Celtic last month.
The 19-year-old Australian World Cup winger, who arrived from Manchester City, looked as though he had been studying tapes of former fans’ favourite Shunsuke Nakamura, the renowned free-kick expert at the Hoops during Gordon Strachan’s four-year reign.
Arzani, who was left out Rodgers’ Europa League squad as the manager gives him to settle into an entirely new environment, lit up the fixture against Celtic’s Aberdeen counterparts at Cappielow.
The Hoops were awarded a set-piece on the edge of the penalty area on the left and experienced keeper Tomas Cerny lined up his wall in front of him. Arzani was unfazed, though, as he stepped forward and curled an exquisite effort high into the scrambling goalie’s right-hand corner of the net.
His team-mates approved of the teenager’s skill and confidence and the players, with Jack Henrry and Anthony Ralston among them, raced to congratulate Tom Rogic’s compatriot.
Midfielder Ewan Henderson, brother of former star Liam who is now at Verona, struck the second in a 2-0 win.
Lewis Morgan, the £300,000 purchase from St Mirren in January, continued on the comeback trail and 16-year-old attacker Armstrong Okoflex, a summer signing from Arsenal who has agreed a three-year contract at the champions, were also in the line-up.
But it was Arzani who caught the imagination with his all-round play, quick movement and dribbling skills.