Could Alexandro Bernabei be in with a starting shout on Saturday?

With fans feeling underwhelmed at what has been an admittedly lacklustre start to the campaign for Celtic, this Saturday’s fixture against bottom of the table St Johnstone has presented the perfect opportunity for Brendan Rodgers to record a dominant victory to get the fans back on side.

It also presents the final opportunity for Rodgers to make some tweaks and adjustments to his Celtic team ahead of the upcoming trip to Ibrox and the Champions League Group Stage.

One change Brendan Rodgers could make to the side is the reintroduction of Alexandro Bernabei into the fold. The pitchforks might be out already at the mere mention of the Argentine’s name, however, a place in the starting XI for the 22-year-old may not be too farfetched.

Unfairly written off

Alexandro Bernabei had a tough start to life at Celtic last season, something the Argentine hasn’t shied away from and in fact opened up on when speaking to the media back in his homeland. He struggled to adjust to the demands of playing as an inverted full-back under Ange Postecoglou which was evident for all to see

The 22-year-old was quoted in a Daily Record article as saying, “In terms of football, we play a 4-3-3 formation and have a manager who likes the full-backs to go inside, something you don’t see so much in Argentina.

“It was quite difficult for me to adapt to that system. He wants the full-back to be able to play as a number 5, go up and down and come out and play the ball.

“It was a bit complicated because I had never been asked to do that. Sometimes I’m afraid to get into the middle too much, it’s a responsibility. If the number 5 loses the ball, the two centre-backs are one on one, and if we are open, it gets tricky.”

Without getting a chance to see Bernabei playing in his preferred role and in his preferred system, Bernabei had already been written off.

His struggles didn’t stop on the field, however, as off-the-field he saw multiple changes in his life. In his first season at the club he became a father, lost his grandfather as well as struggling to overcome the language barrier which all made his first-season at the club very stressful.

However, Brendan Rodgers could be the man to play to his strengths and get the best out of him.


Playing time is what he needs

A little known fact about the current Celtic boss is that he is actually fluent in Spanish. This would help communication between player and manager and would also help eradicate one of the factors that led to Bernabei struggling at Celtic in the first place.

An on-the-field factor that has shown early signs of improving Bernabei’s development was his performances in pre-season. With Rodgers liking his full-backs to play a more traditional role and consistently hitting the byline, this suits Bernabei’s strengths to a tee.

The hard thing for Bernabei was that a lack of a working alarm clock set himself back in the manager’s regard after he looked to be making progress, not just in the eye of the manager but in the eyes of the fans too.

With Greg Taylor being one of the poorest performers amongst the current playing squad so far this season, perhaps a redemption for Alexandro Bernabei could be a potential option for Rodgers this Saturday.


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