MATT O’RILEY admits he was aware signing for Celtic would enhance his chance of international recognition.

The stylish midfielder decided to take the step up into the spotlight when he agreed a £1.5million switch from English third-tier outfit MK Dons in January.

O’Riley knocked back interest from Championship duo West Brom and Swansea, where he could have teamed up with ex-Hoops star Olivier Ntcham, to join the Ange Postecoglou rebuild at Parkhead.

The 21-year-old playmaker had no hesitation in crossing the border following talks with the Greek-Australian gaffer and hit the ground running when he made his first Premiership start in the 2-1 victory over Hearts at Tynecastle, continued the eye-catching form in the 3-0 romp against Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s Ibrox outfit and netted his first goal in the 3-2 success over Aberdeen at Pittodrie.

ON THE BALL…Matt O’Riley has hit the ground running at Celtic.

O’Riley has been capped by England at youth level and he is also eligible to play for Norway, but Denmark made their move last week to call the youngster into their Under-21 squad for the match against Belgium on Tuesday to present the midfielder with the opportunity to impress senior squad head coach Kasper Hjulmand.

The Hoops ace, speaking to local media Tipsbladet, said: “The switch to Celtic was a step up and I have managed to play continuously there, which Jesper Sorensen, the Denmark Under-21 boss, has looked at.

“When I switched to Celtic, I knew there was a greater chance of playing for the national team.

“When I heard about the interest from Denmark, I thought it was cool. I had a really good gut feeling that this is the right thing for me.

“It has previously been a difficult question for me when I was born and raised in England, but, on the other hand, my mother is Danish.

“I have family there and I really like the country, so right now I lean most towards Denmark.”

And O’Riley will return from his international debut to face the challenges of club football with Postecoglou’s men due to play their third derby of the campaign in Govan a week on Sunday and there is also a Scottish Cup Final against the same opponents a fortnight later.


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