The Celtic winger who should be loaned out by Brendan Rodgers

One thing that has massively frustrated Celtic supporters with the club’s transfer activity over the last few years has been the sheer amount of duds the club has brought in who fail to make a real impact on the team.

There are the high-profile flops such as Vasilis Barkas and Albian Ajeti who failed to justify their £5million price tags, but also the project signings such as Vakoun Issouf Bayo or Marian Shved who didn’t even manage to notch up any real first team minutes before moving on. The much-maligned ‘project’ players usually came in at between £2-3million.

One player who is looking dangerously close to falling into the latter category is Marco Tilio, with the Aussie winger not having featured in a single Celtic squad this season, never mind making an appearance.

Is Tilio a cause for concern? Or is he simply a young player who is adapting to life on the other side of the world at a massive club like Celtic?

Since arriving at the club in July for a fee reported to be £1.5m, Tilio has featured just once and this was in a ‘bounce match’, where Celtic were guests in the Michael Moffat Testimonial against Ayr United. The full game, a 1-1 draw in which Celtic fielded a mainly B-side, can be viewed in full HERE.

Things were always going to be tough for Tilio given that he arrived at the club with an injury. By the time he was fit to play, fellow new arrivals Luis Palma and Yang Hyun-jun had already made an impression on the wings.

Missing out on Rodgers’ early assessments of his first-team squad, Tilio would have to work even harder than anyone else in the side to make an impression. Reported homesickness would not have helped his cause.

Given his lack of action in the team, Tilio was the subject of discussion at a recent press conference, where Brendan Rodgers stated, “It’s just time. I think he will admit it himself, it’s been a really, really hard transition for him. Just the intensity of the game is totally different to what he’s been used to, so it’s been a challenge for him in training.

“It’s always difficult when you’re a new player coming into a new club and then you’re injured through pre-season and into September. He’s starting to find his feet now in the last three to four weeks.

“It’s going to take him more time, but I’m not in any big rush for Marco. I think he’ll bring himself into the team as quickly as he can produce. But he’s adapting, it’s taken a wee bit longer for him just purely because of the intensity of the game – it’s totally different to where he’s come from.”


The latest news on Tilio’s situation is that he could be open to a potential loan transfer away. Given that he has built himself a reputation for being a talented young player with the potential to step up to a higher level, he needs minutes to develop his game and it doesn’t look like he is going to be getting them at Celtic. A fully-fit Celtic squad will have Maeda, Palma, Abada, Yang and Forrest ahead of him, so game-time will be at a premium for the 22-year-old.

On a positive note, Tilio was called up to the Australia Under-23 squad for the most recent round of fixtures, where he came off the bench in a 2-1 win over Qatar. More minutes for the Under-23s may serve him well in his pursuit of a first-team jersey. The chances are that this won’t be at Celtic this season, so a loan move would be ideal for both parties come January.


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