Celtic's Lewis Morgan to Hibs on loan? Neil Lennon dismisses chances of it happening
Young Scotsman set to be used more frequently by Parkhead boss
Celtic manager Neil Lennon has dismissed the possibility of loaning Lewis Morgan to Hibs in January, insisting the attacking midfielder has an important role to play for the Scottish champions this season.
Morgan made a rare starting appearance for Celtic on Thursday night, scoring the opening goal of their 3-1 Europa League win at home to Rennes as he deputised for injured central striker Odsonne Edouard.
The 23-year-old Scotland international has struggled for first team game time since joining Celtic from St Mirren 18 months ago and spent the second half of last season on loan at Sunderland under Jack Ross, his former manager at Saints.
The recent appointment of Ross as Hibs boss has inevitably seen Morgan linked with a loan move to Easter Road but Lennon has all but ruled it out.
“We’re not in the mood to do that,” said Lennon. “Lewis is an important part of our squad.
“You can see what he brings at times, he just needs to believe in himself a little bit more and I think that performance against Rennes will do him the world of good in terms of his confidence.
“He has been showing that in training and I’m really pleased that he is able to convert that into game time.
“His goal was fantastic – a striker’s goal really. It was like an Edouard goal. We felt he could bring pace and he is a very fit boy.
“He is good with both feet and he is getting stronger, because that comes from the belief in himself. We want him to be aggressive in his play and he certainly was that against Rennes.
“We have looked at him in that striking position in training a few times. Just in case anything did go wrong with Odsonne.
“At times you think he’s an awful finisher, others when he is ‘wow, amazing.’ With that talent, he has got to play some sort of role along the way somewhere. This was his opportunity.
“He should get a lot of confidence from what he did against a good side in a big game. He has proved he has got the game and can bring something to the squad and the team when called upon. I hope he gets a lift from it.
“What it does show you is his professionalism and the way he has looked after himself. What we see in training every day is what we saw on Thursday night. He was full of running, great fitness levels. At times he showed real quality. He has kept himself going really well and it’s a testament to his professionalism.”