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How Celtic can prove Kasper Hjulmand wrong about Matt O’Riley and Scottish football

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Much of the headlines over the past week or so have been dominated by Celtic midfielder, Matt O’Riley, being snubbed by the Denmark national boss.

Celtic’s Player of the Year was left out of Kasper Hjulmand’s squad for Euro 2024 to much dismay from former Denmark players and pundits in the Game.

O’Riley has had an astounding season under Brendan Rodgers as he contributed 19 goals and 18 assists in 49 appearances in the Celtic boss’ first season back at the club.

Winning a league and Scottish Cup double, hopes were high that O’Riley would be on Denmark’s plane to Germany as part of the Euro 2024 squad.

Before the squad was announced, Hjulmand appeared to take a swipe at the standard of the Scottish game when he said [Daily Record], “You have to put it into the context of how the Scottish league is in relation to the Superliga, the Bundesliga or Spain.

“We are fully aware of that. There are constant considerations.”

Looking back now, that statement looks like Hjulmand was preparing O’Riley for the worst.

Now that the Celtic midfielder looks like he is set to enjoy a full summer break, Peter Grant has told Celtic that they can do one thing to prove the Denmark boss wrong for rejecting the 23-year-old and for what he said about our game.

Champions Leauge glory will ‘prove’ Hjulmand wrong

Now this sounds like a bit of a no-brainer considering O’Riley shone in the Champions League last season but Grant reckons that should Celtic draw Danish sides in the comPetition, beating them would go a long way to making the Denmark boss regret his choice.

Grant said [Scottish Football Podcast], “There’s a level of team we should make impacts against.

“When we talk about Danish teams I think we should be expected to beat these teams and I don’t mean that disrespectfully.

“Because I know the boy [Kasper Hjulmand] had a bit of a knock at Matt O’Riley not getting picked for the Danish squad and how he didn’t really like Scottish Football.

“I’d like to prove that wrong.

“You know, so when you’re getting teams like that coming in, I would say who are at our level [Celtic should be beating them].”

Matt O'Riley of Denmark   during the UEFA U21 EURO Qualfication  match between Denmark against Turkey at Vejle Stadium on June 14, 2022 in Vejle, D...
Photo by Thor Wegner/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Undoubtedly, O’Riley’s time in a Denmark jersey will come. The quality he has cannot be denied. Not even by Hjulmand.

Despite O’Riley being on standby, doubts still remain on whether the silky midfielder will make the Danes’ Euro squad.

Hjulmand will be hoping that his team will progress in the tournament because if they don;t, he may well rue the decision to leave O’Riley back in Scotland this summer.

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