I do not like the idea of throwing an untested central defender into a team where we already have a central defender trying to find his feet.
But I like those things better than I like the idea of taking a risk with Cameron Carter Vickers on that plastic pitch at Kilmarnock with whatever went wrong with him at the weekend just past. That’s a chance we simply cannot take.
The problem, of course, is that we don’t yet have a replacement for Carl Starfelt. But tonight that process has taken a big step closer, as he’s revealed to be in Glasgow and about to tie up the deal. That’s welcome. That’s a huge relief, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this process had been greatly accelerated the moment Carter Vickers went off at Pittodrie.
The big guy might be fit for the game. Or at least, he might pass a fitness test for it. But he’s only just back from a long-term injury, so how fit can he actually be? We’re a team still getting up to speed here, still trying to reach peak conditioning. Another injury to him, one keeping him out for many more weeks, is the last thing this team needs at the moment.
I said earlier that we could survive selling Hatate, even without replacing him just as I think we could probably get by without replacing Jota.
Those are individual players in individual positions. But that’s not where we are at the moment. Right now, we’re without Jota or a replacement, Starfelt or a replacement, Hatate, Johnston, Oh and Kobayashi. There are questions about whether Kyogo will need a shoulder op at some point. Only a foolish manager – and Rodgers is no fool – would risk adding to that.
So I am pleased that our new Bhoy is almost in the metaphorical building, because we need him here right now and we need to know if he can slot right into the side in time to play in the weekend’s game, because putting Carter Vickers into that match would be absolute folly unless we’re 100% sure that he’s 100% fit.
Yes it is not ideal. No I would not ordinarily want to see us go into a game with what’s effectively an untried, untested defence … but this is Celtic and we never quite do things the easy way.
Needs must here, and our new signing has arrived in the nick of time.