MARIAN SHVED has already been tagged ‘The Ukrainian Messi’ by some Celtic fans – after only TWENTY-FIVE MINUTES of competitive action for the Hoops.
It was a whirlwind start for the 22-year-old winger as he replaced Nir Bitton in the 70th minute of last night’s Champions League second round qualifier with Neil Lennon’s side leading through an own goal and 6-0 on aggregate.
But Shved hit the ground running and almost scored within moments of being on the pitch, as described in the CQN match report, when he was denied by a sprawling save from gallant keeper Pavel Londrak.
The winger, who was bought from Karpaty Lviv for £2million during the January transfer window before being loaned back to the Ukrainian side to fulfil their league fixtures, looked bright and busy and found an immediate rapport with Lewis Morgan.
Shved’s glory debut moment came deep in stoppage time when he thundered an unstoppable 18-yard drive into the roof of the net – and then went to celebrate with the travelling support.
DREAM DEBUT…Marian Shved celebrates his goal.
The delighted new Bhoy took to Instagram to declare: “We played well and I’m very happy because I scored my first goal in my first game, so it’s great.”
Boss Lennon was equally happy and, speaking in the Evening Times, said: “Marian has had a little bit of a frustrating time with the groin injury, but he got a good 25 minutes under his belt and obviously took a lot of confidence from the first chance, which he probably should have scored and then scoring a great goal to wrap up the tie.
BY THE LEFT…Shved rifles in his first Hoops strike.
“You could see what the goal meant to him. You have to remember he’s still only 22 and coming into a new culture.
“I was very, very pleased, that will give him a huge shot in the arm confidence-wise.”
The Hoops gaffer is now spoiled for choice for wide Bhoys as he prepares for Saturday’s Flag Day opener against St Johnstone at Parkhead with the likes of Shved, Mikey Johnston, Lewis Morgan and Scott Sinclair all determined to prove they are worth a place in his starting line-up.