GLASGOW — England-born rising star Kundai Benyu says it would be “crazy” for him personally if he manages to feature for Scottish giants Celtic in group stage of the Uefa Champions League.
The midfielder, who joined Celtic from Ipswich Town on a four-year deal in the English summer, has thus far managed to clock up 173 minutes over four appearances in all competitions for the Scottish giants.
While he was at Ipswich, Benyu spent time on loan at non-league outfit Aldershot Town between December 2016 and April 2017.
And the 19-year-old, who has expressed interest in playing international football for Zimbabwe, explained that it would be “crazy” for him on a personal level to play in the group stage of the Champions League as he was involved in non-league football earlier in the year.
Celtic are drawn in Group B of the prestigious competition alongside Paris Saint-Germain, Anderlecht and Bayern Munich.
“It would be crazy for me personally because a few months ago I was playing non-league [football]”, he told Celtic TV, when asked what it would mean to him to be part of the Hoops’ Champions League campaign this season.
“Hopefully, I will train well and work hard and the gaffer will put me in.”
Out of the five appearances Benyu has made for Celtic so far, two have been in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League against Norwegian side Rosenborg and Astana from Kazakhstan.
The youngster said that he relished the experience and now wants to feature more in European games.
“It was an unbelievable feeling to be fair”, Benyu continued.
“Sell-out crowds at home, hopefully I’ll be getting more game-time in these type of games.”
Benyu didn’t feature as Celtic lost 5-0 at home to a star-studded Paris St Germain side in their opening Group B match in the Champions’ League group stage on September 12 and will be hoping to finally make his first appearance when they host Belgian side Anderlecht on September 27.
Meanwhile, Benyu says he has settled in well at the club, adding that his team-mates have helped him to become accustomed to life at Paradise.
“It has been brilliant”, Benyu told Celtic TV, when asked how he has settled in at the club.
“The boys have helped me settle in, the gaffer has been welcoming and the fans have been welcoming.
“I’m loving my time at Celtic at the moment.
“The boys are always laughing and joking in the dressing room.
“So yes, I’ve settled in well.”
The teenager, who thinks he has come a long way, however does not want to take his foot off the pedal as he is aware of the competition for places in Celtic’s starting line-up.
“I feel I’ve come a long way, but I want to work hard in training to get to the next level”, he said.
“I think the competition for places benefits everyone.
“It pushes everyone on, so I just have to work harder and see where it takes me.”