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Gravesen wades in as he slams O’Riley decision

Thomas Gravesen has hit out at the decision to leave Matt O’Riley out of the Danish squad for the European Championships.

The Celtic midfielder was involved in the u-21 squad at the end of the 22/23 season and made his full international debut.

Had O’Riley only played in the SPFL the decision to exclude O’Riley might be understandable but stepping up to the Champions League he was one of the few Celtic players to look comfortable at that level.

Sucj was the impact of the former MK Dons man that Atletico Madrid made a bid for O’Riley in January, Celtic turned that down but there is likely to be increased interest this summer when the transfer window opens.

Speaking to Danish site Tipsbladet, Gravesen said:

Hjulmand (Danish boss Kasper) has selected the players he trusts, and then we are back to the same song as we usually do – he does not see the Superliga and the players who play at home.

He has again selected players who are not in shape, do not have rhythm and do not play on a daily basis.

There are players I would much rather see in the national team than some of the players who have been injured or haven’t played at all.

We have a player who has helped win the championship in Scotland and we have a player who has dominated the [Danish] Super League.

I am of course talking about Matt O’Riley and Nicolai Vallys. Why aren’t they there? The two deserved a chance, but Kasper Hjulmand won’t give it to them.

Many of the players who are abroad are sitting on the bench. They don’t play football. They are not in shape.

Is [Christian Eriksen] at 80 percent? Or is he at 70 percent? Or 50? Or 20? We have no idea, because he doesn’t play, and that’s a problem.

Christian Eriksen at top level is an exceptional player, but where is he at the moment?

With the squad size increased from 23 to 26 and Morten Wieghorst as assistant manager it seemed likely that O’Riley would be included in the Danish squad.

If there are any injuries there could be a late call up but that seems unlikely and would be slightly tainted.

Although he signed a contract extension in September of last year there is a resignation among many Celtic fans that O’Riley will be sold this summer.

A fee in excess of £20m would seem reasonable which would then put the club’s Recruitment department in the spotlight to see if they can identify and sign someone ready to step in and take O’Riley’s place.

Quite clearly last summer’s midfield signings, Odin Thiago Holm and Kwon Hyeok-kyu are not contenders for that position.

Gravesen won 66 Danish caps during a lively career that included spells with Everton, Celtic and Real Madrid.

CLICK HERE for two faced Keevins makes remarkable Rodgers u-turn

CLICK HERE for Santa Ponsa celebrates Celtic’s victory in the Glasgow Derby.

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