Former Celtic midfielder Liam Burt has explained why he failed to make the grade at Parkhead.

Burt shocked everyone in 2019 by joining the Hoops soon after his Rangers contract expired. This comes after he was previously hailed as a potential prospect during his time at Ibrox.

Early on, it appeared as though the midfielder would be one of the best prospects in the under-20 side. However, he would never get into the Celtic senior team and would depart less than a year after arriving.

And the star has finally spoken up about his Hoops tenure, revealing what he believes was his worst setback in Glasgow.

Burt said: “At clubs like Celtic and Rangers, you need to be a standout to get the opportunity. It was bad timing with Covid. I was coming up to the time where they would have offered a second year. I scored a good few goals and had a few training sessions with the first-team. At that time, they were miles ahead of Rangers.

“If Covid hadn’t curtailed the league, I might have been given a chance. But again, that was the nine-in-a-row season, it was always going to be difficult. I thoroughly enjoyed myself at Celtic anyway, I scored a good number of goals. I was disappointed with the way it ended with Covid.

“We were due to play a Cup Final on the Tuesday after the Rangers vs Celtic game on the Saturday, which was when it all got cancelled. I never really got the chance after that. The first-team were training up at Lennoxtown with all the social distancing and we were still getting training programmes sent through from our sports scientists and we were having to go and run ourselves.

“It was obviously a tough time for everybody and down at Barrowfield, people weren’t allowed to go and train. So we never really had a full face-to-face discussion because obviously that wasn’t available. It was a strange time for myself and everybody else involved in that decision.”

The reality is that recent years at Celtic Park have been harsh in terms of the working environment for the players. The fact that we were aiming for the ten meant that integrating young players into the team was very tough.

True, you can point to Mikey Johnston and Stephen Welsh as recent outliers. However, they were absolute standouts and guys who were obviously prepared for the next level.

It was always going to be a slow, methodical process for individuals like Burt who were dazzling but not yet bossing it. Even if things did not work out in the end.

It was unfortunate that this one, too, did not go according to plan. Burt arrived in Lennoxtown with an enviable reputation. It looked as if there was a hidden ability waiting to be discovered.

It was not to be, and the footballer is currently flourishing in Ireland with Bohemians. Whether Covid had a role in his failure to make it here is debatable.

However, more practically, it was a result of the hunt for the ten and a dearth of true talent.