Barry Ferguson has told Go Radio that he thinks Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley has lost weight during pre-season, something which he could have been criticised for last season. But Ferguson was full of praise, branding him “elegant”.

O’Riley, 21, laid on Celtic’s first assist of the season on Sunday afternoon, at Parkhead. It was his corner that Stephen Welsh nodded into Aberdeen’s net, with Jota scoring a wonderful second-half effort to eventually win 2-0.

London-born Denmark Under-21 international O’Riley joined Celtic from MK Dons in January and immediately made an impression. In 20 outings for Celtic last term, he had a hand in six goals from midfield.

This season, with a full pre-season under his belt, he might go on to improve that and has already started well. With Tom Rogic leaving, Celtic fans will be hoping so – and Ferguson thinks he has lost weight during pre-season.

“He’s very elegant on the ball. It looked to me like he’s shredded a little bit as well. That was one thing you’ve could say against O’Riley, he needed to be fitter. You can see why Rogic wasn’t kept. He’s got it all,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson: Celtic midfielder O’Riley has lost weight

It is crazy to think that O’Riley is still only 21 years of old. It is also bewildering to think that Celtic plucked O’Riley from England’s third tier, from MK Dons, for a bargain £1.5million. He is a proper talent, playing like he is already 28.

If O’Riley continues to churn out performances like this, adding goals and assists from midfield, then Premier League clubs are going to come calling. Supposedly, Leicester City and Brendan Rodgers are already showing interest.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

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