Celtic summer signing Marco Tilio could be heading out on loan this month after struggling to make an impression at Celtic in the first six months at the club.
The £1.5m summer signing from Melbourne City, arrived at Lennoxtown with an injury picked up on international duty shortly after putting pen to paper to complete his Hoops move and was subsequently sidelined for two months. Since returning to full fitness. Tilio has failed to break into the first team with just a could have late in the game substitute appearances to show for his opening six months as a Celtic player.
He did however make the Socceroos 26-man squad for the Asian Cup which gets underway this weekend in Qatar and is hopeful that he’ll be able to use the international stage to show just exactly what he can do. However Tilio did hint that a Celtic exit could be on the cards, with a loan move back to Melbourne City being a likely outcome as he seeks to get game-time.
Speaking about his situation to Australian outlet APP, Tilio said: “Of course from the outside it’s been tough. I obviously went to the club with an injury. But I’ve been back for four months now fully training, fully fit.
“I probably feel physically better than what I’ve ever been in my career. So I feel really good and I’m just raring to go, ready to play and hopefully this tournament’s a chance for me to do that.”
And while Tilio reckons he’s improved as a player since joining Celtic, he did express a wish to get more game-time with a wait and see hint that a move could be on the cards.
“I think it’s only improved me as a player being in and around that every day. But overall, I’d like to get more game time and whatever that looks like, we’ll see what happens,” the Celtic winger said.
Tilio benefited for the increase in squad numbers from 24 to 26 for the Asian games as the Celtic winger was given one of the additional places by Socceroos boss Graham Arnold.
“Arnie’s always about giving opportunity and throughout my career so far, he’s given me a lot of opportunities. So I’ve just got to try to repay him and that’s with performances in training and making sure I’m ready to show that I’m ready to play.”
Tilio impressed came off the bench for Australia in their warm up game against Bahrain and is now looking to make an impact when the Asian Cup gets underway. After that he also has the Under-23 Asian Cup in April, which doubles as qualifiers for the Paris Olympics and the Celtic winger is excited about that too.
“That’s what I love to do, is play football,” Marco Tilio stated. “So any opportunity I get to do that, I can showcase what I’m capable of.
“I’m just hoping I can do that here at a major tournament. It’s a massive six months ahead for myself. I want to win this tournament and then go on in April and do the same thing to qualify for the Olympics. It’d be special to go to another Olympics.”
Nothing in all of this suggests that Celtic supporters can expect to see much of an impact being made by Tilio at Celtic this season and a loan move back to Melbourne City would seem like a sensible option, especially with the player having further international tournament commitments in April.