With two-and-a-half weeks of the summer transfer window left to go, and fans still clamouring for more signings, many positions will no doubt be addressed by Brendan Rodgers before the transfer window slams shut. A new centre-back arrival looks imminent with Elfsborg’s 23-year-old centre-back Gustaf Lagerbielke expected to fly into Glasgow this week to complete a medical, replacing the outgoing Carl Starfelt.
Other problem areas fans’ want addressed include the goalkeeping position, although with links to a new potential number one running dry, it seems like Rodgers is going to trust Joe Hart to be his man between the sticks going forward.
However, with starting left-back Greg Taylor putting in some lacklustre displays to start the new campaign and his back-up Alexandro Bernabei’s off-field issues not looking like going away any time soon, a new left-back has been earmarked by some supporters as a position that the club could look to improve upon before deadline day.
Greg Taylor has had a turbulent relationship with the Celtic support to say the least. In the early days of his Celtic career it seemed like he couldn’t do anything right in supporters’ eyes, with many fans deeming him not good enough.
Like many players, being associated with the nightmare ten-in-a-row attempt haunted him like a ghost and it meant that to get fans back on his side he would need to see some drastic improvements in his game, a challenge that he never shied away from.
Ange Postecoglou name-checked Taylor on multiple occasions as one of the hardest-workers and one of the players who fully bought into the philosophy Ange was trying to bring to the club in the early stages.
A willingness to improve and a determined attitude led to Taylor playing his best football last season, earning the respect of fans and pundits alike.
However, some below-par performances in the early stages of the new season have raised the same questions that surrounded Taylor for so long in his early Celtic career.
Calls for Taylor to be replaced seem very premature. He thrived so much playing as an inverted full-back, so reverting back to a more traditional role could take a few games to adjust.
If the performance levels still remain below-par after a few more games then the club may need to act.
It was a tough first season for the Argentine, with on and off-field issues all coming together to give fans a negative perception of the 22-year-old.
Bernabei has admitted when speaking to Argentinian outlets over the summer that he struggled to adapt to the technical demands of playing as an inverted full-back in Ange Postecoglou’s system. When you consider how important the full-backs were to the way Ange’s Celtic played, getting to grips with the demands quickly would have been vital to any chances of succeeding at the club, but he never did.
Ange’s departure and Rodgers’ arrival gave Bernabei a clean slate which he desperately needed. Things were looking positive during pre-season with a promising performance against Athletic Club reminding fans why Celtic paid £3.7 million for him in the first place.
Rodgers has mentioned he is a fan of him despite his lack of a working alarm clock, saying that, “He has been brilliant in pre-season in terms of mentality and attitude and I felt for him.”
Rodgers’ comments show that Bernabei was progressing well and was held in high esteem by the former Liverpool manager, however missing a team meeting may have killed his momentum.
Bernabei was showing early signs of adapting well to Rodgers’ demands and, given time and opportunities, the left-back could still come good at Celtic.
With all things considered, signing a left-back isn’t a priority for Celtic this summer.
However, if performance levels don’t see an increase in the next few months then it may be something Celtic need to address in the January transfer window.