Whatever happens tomorrow, I am guessing that the Celtic player everyone will spend the next week talking about doesn’t even make an appearance against Hearts.
Nor will he probably play against AZ Alkmaar although that’s not something I’d put my last penny on.
The guy everyone will be talking about is Owen Moffat, the kid who dazzled us during pre-season. I had heard he was a bit special and told my old man to keep an eye on him before those friendly games, and he certainly lit up the first of them.
But he turns out to be so, so much more exciting than I had heard.
Moffat has been working away under the radar since, impressing in games for the B team without really making it impossible for the world to ignore him. This is what you expect when a team is playing at that level; it takes something other-worldly for someone to stand out from the crowd and really make himself known. Today he did just that.
The B-Team itself turned in a display not to be sneezed at; a 10-0 away win. Impressive enough on its own and a tribute to how swiftly, and completely, the kids have settled into a competitive routine.
But Moffat bagged no fewer than five of the goals himself … an astonishing performance which now means that we’re all obliged to sit up and take notice.
Moffat is 19, and so it would be simply wrong to start putting him under pressure with all sorts of crazy comparisons, but it’s been yonks since Celtic produced a next-level striker.
Some of the admin team over on the Facebook Group have been lamenting this for years, and so maybe it’s because we all want to believe it that we’re tuned right in.
But Moffat is clearly a fantastic talent, with great feet, determination and a predator’s eye for goal. He can play wide as well as through the middle. He obviously has a future … and the way he’s playing he’s making it awfully hard to dismiss the idea that the future might be a lot closer than many people think.
As a young player, you always want to send a message to the manager and to your peers … well this was quite a way to do it.
Is he ready for the first team?
Time will tell, but the first step towards proving it is by showing that he is so very, very much better than the level of competition he’s facing at the present time and a couple more displays of this quality – not even necessarily with a hat-full of goals – and he will give Ange Postecoglou and the coaches one hell of a decision to make.
It has been a long time since a forward going player from our own academy system made this big a splash. A five goal haul in a competitive game is the kind of thing that gets people talking and imaginations racing.
Don’t be surprised if that call-up to the first team squad comes quickly.