Du Wei To Get His Chance

Last updated : 30 November 2005 By Kevin Smith
When Chinese internationalist Du Wei signed for Celtic, I was equally as wary as I was excited. The defender certainly promised alot but has not featured in one first team game since joining the club in August. There are several reasons for this.

Firstly, it was obvious that he would take time to adjust to the Scottish game. This is the case for most players who join from a foreign country, but coming from Chinese football, it was always going to be that little bit trickier for Du Wei.

Secondly, Du Wei has found himself trying to win a place in the centre of a Celtic defence which is now looking reasonably settled with Bobo Balde and Stephen McManus. Added to this that £1.5 Million signing Adam Virgo is also pursuing a place in the first team, Du Wei could be forgiven for not bursting into the Celtic side.

Gordon Strachan today claimed that Du Wei has been suffering from a calf injury since returning from the Asian Cup at the beginning of the month. This is why he has not played in any reserve matches recently. He added that there is no need for fans to worry about Du Wei's place at the club, despite him having the option to return to China in just over a month.

Strachan said, "Since he came back from the Asian Cup, Du Wei has been suffering from a calf injury. It is not a concern for me he has not even figured on the bench yet, and I can tell you it is not a concern for him either.

"He is quite willing to plug away because he knows it is a complete change of culture. He is all right with it."

We may see him feature when Bobo Balde heads for the African Nations Cup tournament in January - perhaps both the player and the boss are aware of this and are waiting for him to be 100% for when that time comes.

From what I have seen of him, he looks a decent player, and I suppose only time will tell if he can break into the Celtic first team, and remain there.