Date: 19th January 2009 at 1:15pm
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Young Chelsea striker Morten Nielsen has been linked with a move to Celtic after impressing coaches at Lennoxtown last week.

The 18-year-old Dane’s contract expires at the end of the season and he is thought to be looking for a move to further his career. Nielsen has been at Stamford Bridge for three years, but the London club are not known to give their youngsters much of a chance to break into the first-team.

According to the Evening Times “Celtic appear to be in pole position to strike a deal for the player” even though a number of teams in Denmark and French outfit Rennes are thought to be interested. Didier Drogba, who has himself been linked with a Chelsea exit, has reportedly encouraged Nielsen to join the French club.

While Nielsen is ‘highly-rated’ his signing would be the latest in a long line of young players. Milan Misun did make the bench against Aberdeen yesterday, but only as a stand-in substitute keeper after Artur Boruc picked-up a groin injury during the warm-up.

Another article in the same newspaper highlights an issue Celtic appear to have. It is suggested that “at 18 it is too soon to put all the responsibility on (Misun’s) shoulders”. If the player is good enough and, let’s be fair, he’d have to be awful not to be an improvement on the current situation, then he’s old enough. If not, what is he doing at Parkhead?

Perhaps Graham Spiers, one of the better Scottish football journalists, sums it up best in The Times today when he writes “I don’t gratuitously knock Celtic for their approach. As Gordon Strachan has repeatedly said, ‘This is just how it is.’

“But such meagre, constrained investments surely place in context why such a giddy height as the last-16 of the Champions League is the glass-ceiling for Celtic.”

Tough words to read but undoubtedly true – and it’s not a situation that is going to be solved, or even improved, by signing more and more kids who are never going to feature as first-team regulars. A change is needed in the mentality of the coaching staff so that players are either not signed or actually played when they are. Sounds simple…!

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