The 3 fringe players who’ll be pushing for starting jerseys

Brendan Rodgers has been utilising plenty of Celtic’s rotational players this season. In response to the injury crisis that was hampering the team at the start of the season, players such as Liam Scales and David Turnbull have had opportunities in starting positions.

Despite starting the first five league games of the season, Turnbull has dropped down the pecking order and was out of the squad for the 3-1 victory over Kilmarnock before the international break. Scales, on the other hand, has played every minute for Brendan Rodgers’ side since being drafted in following Celtic’s defeat to Killie in the League Cup.

Scales has impressed to the point where it would be harsh for him to be dropped any time soon, but there are other players waiting in the wings for similar opportunities to be granted.


Here are 3 players on Celtic’s fringes who could have a bigger part to play this season.

Odin Thiago Holm

The Norwegian has seen the majority of his minutes in a Celtic shirt so far come from the bench. Whilst he has impressed in glimpses, the main stand-out moment for the 20-year-old will be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

His red card in Rotterdam against Feyenoord in his maiden Champions League group stage appearance was something of a disaster for the player and Brendan Rodgers’ team as a whole. Holm does seem to possess a steely determination, however, which can be allied to his talent to ensure that he returns stronger from that early setback.

The midfielder has shown some similar qualities to Callum McGregor, with his driving runs forward through the middle as well as his tackling being key parts of his game. He is still raw, though, and his inexperience was his undoing in that game at De Kuip.

The only way to develop Holm is to allow him more minutes and, as the schedule begins to get more hectic, there will undoubtedly be further opportunities for the Norwegian Under-21 international.

Oh Hyeon-gyu

The South Korean held an exceptional goals-to-minute ratio towards the end of last season and it seemed like he would score whenever he was on the park.

It has been a different story this season, however, as his minutes have even further decreased. When the 22-year-old has been afforded any game-time by Brendan Rodgers, the striker has managed an average of 12 minutes on the field during his seven appearances.

Whether this is because he is unfancied by Brendan Rodgers or not, Oh hasn’t been able to net a single goal this season to build on the promising start of last term.

If minutes are going to be at a premium again, he needs to prove his worth when those opportunities arise and there would be no better way to do that than by grabbing his first goal of the season.

Paulo Bernardo

The Portuguese Under-21 international was brought in on loan from Benfica on deadline day, and much like the other two players mentioned, minutes have been hard to come by.

It has been difficult for him to make a real impact on the games he has featured in as well, with the matches basically being done whenever he is called upon.

He displayed some positive signs against Lazio, showing good attacking intent in the minutes he had on the park. However, if Celtic are to activate the buy-clause in his loan contract then he will need more opportunities to impress.

Having registered some decent international performances since Celtic last played, will he be given a chance to do that against Hearts? It is unlikely to be from a startin position, but he could be a useful option off the bench.


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