Four Celtic Players. One Big Opportunity To Nail Down A First Team Place.

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The injury to Reo Hatate is as bad as we thought it might be.

He’s out until Christmas at least. Fortunately for us he’s injured in the one area of the pitch where we have cover. Plenty of it. And four players who are all vying for the opportunity to prove that the place belongs to them. This is what it’s all about. This is why you create a big squad.

I know a lot of you would argue that we have no squad depth.

We’re about to prove just how deep it actually is, because the four players who could replace Hatate all offer us different things and it’s going to be interesting to see which of them make it and which don’t.

As I said earlier, a lot of these guys don’t know it yet but they are playing for their futures right now.

The first of the four, David Turnbull, he certainly does know that. If he wants to be at Celtic he has from now until January to get a new deal for himself; he’s going to have options, for sure, and there’s no question about that, but if he wants to stay here he doesn’t have long to prove that he’s worth the new deal that would extend his stay.

We all know Turnbull can produce.

But can he produce consistently? Can he produce to the level where he gives Rodgers a big decision to make? Or will one of the others take his shot away from him? At least one of them has a good claim to the spot.

Paolo Bernardo has the right pedigree and this might be his moment to shine.

He didn’t look out of place in the Champions League, and that’s a huge statement to make right there. If he can hold down the place, who knows what might happen? We have the option to buy him in the summer if he can produce – haha Ibrox fans read it and weep – but there’s no word on the fee, so for now we’re just waiting to see exactly what he can do.

If he can cement this spot we should know by January whether snapping him up is a priority for us. I like what I’ve seen thus far.

Iwata is another one, and he has the advantage that Rodgers likes him a lot. His is the one of the four that intrigues me most because he can play in the defensive midfield zone, which would allow us to push Callum further up the pitch.

As much as I love him in that defensive slot I think he’s wasted there. His best work is done further forward.

Iwata himself definitely is a player.

This guy, don’t forget, was the previous season’s player of the year in the J League when we signed him … that’s a big deal considering the quality they have there. I think he can definitely do us a job and Rodgers agrees.

Holm if the fourth player, and he’s been absent from the squads recently, which in a sense I understand as he’s a recent arrival and it would be unfair to throw that guy in as the main creative force when he’s just not ready yet.

But this is the opportunity he’s been waiting for, and with a lot of the games to come at home his moment might have arrived.

There’s stuff to credit all four options. We’d all like to see more of Holm but the manager has to pick the best player he can for the role, and Holm might well be at the bottom of the deck at the moment.

There is one major thing he should remember; a certain defender was even further down the pecking order not that long ago and he’s keeping multi-million pound signings out of the team at the moment. This is the thing with Rodgers.

You will be selected on merit with him.

If you perform that will move you to the front of the queue. This is a chance. Someone has to fill those shoes. Who’s it going to be?

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  • John L says:

    Turnbull , for me he will never make it at Celtic, it was his jersey to lose and quite frankly he just handed it back, I don’t see any fight in him, he looks happy to pick up a wage, I want someone to grab this opportunity and run with it, step forward a new hero. Had to turn radio clyde off as Kenny ranger was talking about Ref,s and he is just not buying it, let’s be honest here, a lot more than he will ever be, if the doorman let you in for hee haw and the bartender gave you free drink all night, you wouldn’t be buying that either. Enough Said.

  • Paul Mac says:

    According to Brendan´s presser today Odin Holm was missing due to injury rather than simply being out of the picture like poor James McCarthy

  • jrm63 says:

    A Celtic midfield without Hatate has no urgency or drive. The first half on Saturday proved that. It was shocking just how bad it actually was, and no amount of deflection can alter that. Hatate gets us foward despite his losing the ball on occasion. Forrest and Johnston looked better than Maeda or Palma. That’s how bad we were. The 2 wide players with 1 central up front isn’t really working. MJ might start Weds. He can beat a player inside the box even if his decision-making and finishing are rank rotten. And they are. Forrest was more effective than Maeda. We are crying out for a midfield player who can run from the middle and actually commit or beat other players around and in the box

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Surely Surely 1 outta the 4 will do at least a little something for Celtic in there…

    But by Fcuk – We will miss The Grande Rio !

  • SSMPM says:

    Several people on this site, particularly last season, were pushing to keep Scales once his return from Aberdeen was complete. It seemed the men who were in the know, AP, BR and perhaps even the coaching staff were the ones that couldn’t see something in him.
    Albeit my view was as a left sided CB or LB.
    I was impressed by Bernardo in the CL game against Atletico, not so against Hibs.
    Turnbull seems more of an intricate passing, good finisher but less pacey, less energetic midfield.
    Holm we have more to see but I would to see more if reports are to be believed.
    It’s Iwata that I think that should come into the team and not as a direct replacement for Hatate but taking the sitting holding,
    creative tackling and energetic midfielder. He has great potential.
    Callum should replace Hatate. Allowing Cal to push forward, with his energy, stamina, consistency, nous, eye for a goal and leadership qualities. To me it’s a no brainer.
    The others can be utilised during the season for rotation and their individual talents, contributions and development. I’m just not sure, at this stage, if they’re at the week in regulars yet.
    Ithink we know enough about Iwata now to know he’s got a package of talents and Callum, well that goes without saying. HH

  • Northamptontim says:

    Always been a turnbull fan and I believe he better against low block but ship seems to have sailed on david chance’s with Bernard jersey if he wants it. Olhm back from injury like to see bit more of him

  • Woodyiom says:

    Losing Reo is a huge blow IMHO. He has the eye for a pass, can take the game by the scruff of the neck, moves the ball FORWARD at pace and keeps our tempo high (only CalMac also does) and has a great understanding with Kyogo.

    For me we have to play Iwata or Bernardo deeper and play CalMac further forward to compensate. Turnbull is a luxury player who is fine against poor SPFL teams but is not the answer in Europe or in the big domestic games and Holm is still developing so should only be risked at home vs StJ, County, Dundee etc etc

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