Australian prodigy Daniel Arzani was overlooked for Celtic's Europa League squad because his fitness conditioning isn't up to speed, according to the club's assistant coach Chris Davies.
The 19-year-old, who joined Celtic three weeks ago on a two-year loan deal from Manchester City, was omitted from a 43-man list for the Scottish side's European campaign, sparking concern among fans about the player's prospects this season.
But Davies says there was no sinister motivation behind Arzani's absence, explaining the former Melbourne City player hasn't had enough time at the club to reach the required fitness levels and become integrated within the team setup.
"Daniel is a young player, he is still adapting to the environment here. He is two weeks into his training programme here, which is, in normal terms, still early pre-season," Davies said.
"He still has a way to go to get up to speed, but he has a two-year loan and we are going to support his development.
"His main priority is to build up his condition, he’s had half a development team game.
"The style we have is fast-paced and intense, so players have to be at that level."
Celtic played their first competitive match of the season on July 11 in a Champions League qualifier and commenced their league campaign more than a month ago - meaning the majority of the squad has been training for significantly longer than Arzani.
The Socceroos attacker will have the opportunity to be named in the Europa League squad early next year if Brendan Rodgers' team qualify for the competition's round-of-32.