Grading Timothy Weah's loan to Celtic: What the move means for the young American star
The 18-year-old American forward should be able to see the field more in Scotland
American soccer star Timothy Weah of Paris Saint-Germain is looking to prove himself consistently on the professional level, and it looks like he will have his chance. Weah will join Celtic of Scotland on a six-month loan, the team confirmed Monday. ESPNFC reports that Weah has also extended his contract with PSG until 2021 and that he could extend his loan at Celtic for next season if he performs well.
It's a big loan move that looks potentially beneficial for all involved parties. Let's grade the move for Weah, Celtic, PSG and American soccer.
The move for Weah
The 18-year-old needs to see the field, and he simply hasn't at PSG. But there's no shame in that, as nobody is expecting him to beat out Neymar, Kylian Mbappe or Edinson Cavani for minutes at forward. In two seasons with PSG, he has played a total of six times. For him, moving to a club where he can get more minutes and improve is key, especially at his young age. We've seen American players grow by leaps and bounds in Europe if they get the chance, with Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie coming to mind. Weah will surely play several more games this season than he has at PSG in the last two seasons, and there's nothing more that he wants than to be able to compete for starts. At Celtic, he should get just that and against weaker competition.
The move for Celtic
The Scottish giants get a lot of goals from the midfield. In fact, in league play this season, the club has scored 46 goals, with just 14 coming from strikers. So adding another person with scoring ability in the final third makes perfect sense. The pace of the game in Scotland is quite quick, and Weah should be able to adapt. We've seen Brendan Rodgers use players who are quick on the wing -- he did it at Liverpool with Daniel Sturridge -- and we could see him approach Weah this way. He's a good young player that should help Celtic right away.
The move for PSG
I have serious doubts as to whether he will ever make it with PSG. Not because he isn't good enough, but because of the world-class talent ahead of him. Mbappe and Neymar are both young, and when Cavani's time is up, the club will likely splash the cash for a more established forward. At some point, I think PSG needs to think about selling him, but getting him a loan move or two to impress is key in raising his value.
The move for American soccer
For the American fan, you won't get to see him much as not a lot of Celtic games are aired here, but he wasn't playing at PSG anyway. Celtic will play Valencia in the Europa League, so there's a chance there for the fans to see what he can do. But when it comes to the national team and the sport overall, it's a fine move because it should really help his progression. While playing against tougher competition in France would be better, the fact is that actually seeing the field is the only way to expect him to fine-tune his skills. Playing for Celtic will give him more chances to be considered by U.S. men's national team coach Gregg Berhalter, and an impressive second half of the season could be enough to get him a spot on the Gold Cup roster.
Celtic vs. Valencia in the Europa League will take place on Feb. 14 and 21. You can watch select Europa League matches on fuboTV (Try for free).
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