Matt O’Riley’s Denmark call-up and how it can benefit Celtic

Matt O’Riley secured his first ever call-up to the Danish national team this week to face San Marino in the European Championship Qualifying Group H.

O’Riley has been the standout performer for Celtic this season, turning on the style against every level of opponent the club has faced. This isn’t just restricted to this season either, as he turned in top-drawer displays during last season’s Champions League campaign, even securing the UEFA player of the match award against Shakhtar Donetsk.

Initially, the Celtic midfielder wasn’t named in the Denmark squad, much to the surprise of Celtic supporters as early rumours had indicated he was to be in line for a call up.

Denmark manager Kasper Hjulmand previously made the media aware that he has been closely monitoring O’Riley’s progress, with the 22-year-old having regularly featured in the Danish Under-21 setup since arriving at Parkhead.



After missing Denmark’s first game of the international break against Kazakhstan, O’Riley was a late call-up for the San Marino encounter due to Anderlecht forward Kasper Dolberg dropping out of the squad following the birth of his child.

It is all O’Riley deserves for his displays so far this campaign, and here are a few reasons why he deserves the international recognition:

Contributing at both ends

O’Riley’s quality in the final third has long been appreciated by Celtic fans, with his creative output being consistently high since his arrival in Glasgow. In his first season, he scored 4 goals and contributed 2 assists in 20 appearances. This was followed up in 2022/23 with 4 goals and 14 assists in 52 appearances. This season, O’Riley has already scored 5 with 3 assists in just 11 appearances.

Prior to this campaign, one of the only criticisms of his game was his lack of a finishing touch. This seems to have improved dramatically under Brendan Rodgers, scoring more goals than striker Kyogo Furuhashi, as he has gone on to already surpass his total from last season.

His defensive work has come to the fore as well this season, with the Dane not lacking the grit and fight needed to play for Celtic, stepping up in the bigger games especially. There is no doubt that his Champions League perfromances will have grabbed the attention of the national team.


What does this mean for Celtic?

Celtic’s position on the global stage is clear, with the club being the perfect platform for young players to come in and develop their games with the intention of securing a high-profile transfer when their time at the club comes to an end.

O’Riley being recognised and called-up by one of the best national teams in Europe will not only ensure that Celtic can demand an even higher fee for him when he does eventually move on, but it will give Celtic another benefit of joining the club that they can use to entice young players to come and play in the hoops.

O’Riley’s call-up is not only beneficial for himself and getting his name more widely recognised, but it will also prove beneficial for Celtic further down the line.


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