Matt O’Riley joined Celtic in the recent January transfer window from League One side MK Dons and it is safe to say that many eyebrows were raised when the move was made. Fans wondered whether the midfielder could make the jump from the third division of English football to the Scottish Premiership. Also, there were question marks about whether he would get minutes ahead of players like Tom Rogic, David Turnbull and others.
Less than a month on and O’Riley has already made an impact at Celtic, and looks pretty much a part of Ange Postecoglou’s first-team picture at Parkhead.
He has barely put a foot wrong till now and would only be expected to get better as the season progresses, as the only thing that he has struggled with till now is keeping up with the intensity of Postecoglou’s style of football for 90 minutes.
As reported by 67 Hail Hail, speaking at a fan media event today, O’Riley has revealed what Postecoglou told him on a phone call before his Celtic move:
"“I spoke with Ange on the phone and he really explained the style of play to me and where I fit into the system – being one of the 8s who can hopefully create etc. From game 1 hopefully that’s been easy to see, that I fit in quite well.“Yes, I’m just someone who likes to play good football, and here’s the perfect place to do that.”"
O’Riley reveals what Postecoglou told him before Celtic move
According to stats from Transfermarkt, O’Riley has scored once and provided 2 assists in 5 appearances for Celtic till now.
He has taken to the Scottish game like a duck to water and it looks like an inspired move on the part of Celtic to sign the former League One midfielder.
It will be interesting to see though how much football he gets when everyone is fit and available. At the moment, Turnbull is out of action with an injury and so was Yosuke Ideguchi until recently.
The early signs have been brilliant for O’Riley and at 21 years of age, there is plenty of room for him to improve even further. Thus, it feels like he can be a huge part of this Celtic team for years to come.