Cluj snub is the final straw for Calvin Miller at Celtic

Celtic Manager Neil Lennon  is seen  during the UEFA Champions League, third qualifying round, second leg match between Celtic and CFR Cluj at Celtic Park on August 13, 2019 in Glasgow,...

Scottish Premiership champions Celtic collapsed in the Champions League qualifiers after picking Callum McGregor at left-back.

Kieran Tierney of Celtic celebrate with the Celtic fans during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Heart of Midlothian FC at Celtic Park on May 19, 2019 in...

It always seemed inevitable that Kieran Tierney’s lifelong association with Celtic would come to an end sooner rather than later.

But that doesn’t make his £25 million move to Arsenal any easier to stomach, particularly after The Hoops’ defensive frailties were brutally exposed for all of Europe to see in their 4-3 Champions League qualifying collapse at home to Cluj on Tuesday night.

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The fact that Neil Lennon didn’t trust the £3 million Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo, Tierney's apparent successor, to start against rather limited Romanian opposition after seven rather mixed outings in Celtic colours speaks volumes. Instead, the midfielder Callum McGregor was forced to fill Tierney’s boots in an unfamiliar left-back role. Inevitably, he failed.

 

A penny for Calvin Miller's thoughts, then.

A Glasgow-born 21-year-old who was highly rated by Lennon's predecessor Brendan Rodgers, Miller is the only other left-back in Celtic's squad right now. But he is yet to play a single second of first-team football since Lennon's return and hasn't even been included in a matchday squad during the first month of the 2019/20 campaign.

Miller was once again conspicuous by his absence when Cluj came to town.

Calvin Miller of Celtic is seen during the Scottish Premier League between Celtic and Kilmarnock at Celtic Park on May 9, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

 

And that doesn't exactly bode well for his long-term future at Parkhead. An academy graduate who was once tipped to follow in Tierney's footsteps could do exactly that - by leaving Celtic this summer, that is, rather than by establishing himself as the club's first-choice on the left-hand side.

Yes, Miller is inexperienced and unproven in high-profile European games. But the fact that Lennon left him out once again despite Tierney's exit and Bolingoli-Mbombo's early struggles is a real slap in the face for a budding young talent who clearly needs a fresh start away from the green half of Glasgow.

Calvin Miller of Celtic scores his team's second goal during The Scottish FA Youth Cup Final between Celtic and Rangers at Hampden Park on April 26, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland.

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