Can Celtic’s forgotten men be resurrected under Brendan Rodgers?

It’s no secret that, as Celtic fans and football fans in general, we jump to conclusions very quickly. One bad performance, a poor debut and all of a sudden you aren’t good enough and your career is over.

Many Celtic players have suffered that exact same fate over the years and in some instances the fans were right but in other instances the player will prove the doubters wrong.

Even Celtic captain Callum McGregor was once thought of as perhaps not being up to standard. There are a few players in the current crop of Celtic players who have been written off.

Here are three players in the Celtic squad who have been written off at some point. What are the chances of them proving the doubters wrong this season?

David Turnbull

The player that inspired this article, David Turnbull may not have been written off exactly but his talents and qualities were most definitely forgotten and disrespected.

At one point, David Turnbull was the shining light amongst a dire Celtic team during the club’s ten-in-a-row attempt, putting up consistently high-level performances which were enough to win him the PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year award. He was a staple of Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic side during the first six months of his tenure until a poorly timed injury led to him losing his place in the squad.

Turnbull began to be tarnished with the label of being ‘too slow’ for Ange’s side and saw game time hard to come by but Ange’s departure and the return of Brendan Rodgers has opened up the door for the clean slate that David Turnbull desperately needed.

He has the quality and, as Matt O’Riley mentioned post-match on Saturday, “he’s too good to not be playing”. Two goals on the opening day reminded Celtic fans of the quality he possesses and many are now earmarking the 24-year-old for a revitalisation at Celtic this season.


Alexandro Bernabei

Alexandro Bernabei had a tough first year at the club. Coming into the side with expectations of displacing Greg Taylor as the starting left-back and a £3.7 million price tag attached to his name meant expectations were high, so when the Argentine didn’t set the world alight, the pitchforks came out.

It didn’t help his case that Taylor upped his levels with the competition for places and nailed down the starting spot which meant first team minutes were also limited for Bernabei. The 22-year-old has admitted himself that he struggled with the inverted full-back role as it was something he hadn’t played as before, with his game being far more suited to a more traditional role where he can utilise his pace and energy to hit the byline and cause problems.

He impressed in preseason with the Athletic Club game in particular being a good example of that. However, he wasn’t even on the bench for the league opener on Saturday which could prove pretty telling as to how Rodgers views him.

With Greg Taylor starting the season pretty slowly, opportunities could potentially arise for Bernabei, he just has to make the most of them this time around.

Sead Haksabanovic

Haksabanovic and Bernabei’s Celtic careers have some very similar parallels. They have both struggled for minutes but when the opportunities have arisen they haven’t set the world alight.

However, unlike Bernabei, recent transfer activity suggests that the writing could be on the wall for the Montenegrin. The acquisitions of Yang Hyun-Jun and Marco Tilio have bumped the former West Ham winger further down the pecking order and, with minutes in pre-season for Haksabanovic being hard to come by, he may not be a part of Brendan Rodgers’ plan.

He didn’t make the bench for Saturday’s league opener with Rodgers opting for new man Yang to be his option on the bench. It shouldn’t come as a surprise if Haksabanovic ends up elsewhere come the end of the transfer window.


Leave a Reply