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‘EVEN THE GREAT BILLY McNEILL MIGHT NOT SATISFY CELTIC FANS,’ JOKES RODGERS

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BRENDAN RODGERS jokes even the legendary Billy McNeill might not satisfy Celtic fans as they fret over the centre-half position.

The Hoops’ European Cup-winning skipper was the dominant defensive force in Jock Stein’s all-conquering side of the mid-sixties and seventies.

Rodgers accepted there will never be anyone to rival the majestic Caesar, but he is fairly content with what he has at the moment in the likes of Dedryck Boyata, Jozo Simonovic, Kris Ajer and Jack Hendry who all fitted in last season with Nir Bitton also playing on a few occasions.

Marvin Compper, bought for a £1million in the January transfer window from Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig, didn’t play a full game, but he will be hoping to make an impression in the new campaign.

Rodgers smiled: “Everyone goes on about a new centre-half, but I don’t think they’d be happy with Billy McNeill playing centre-half!”

The Parkhead gaffer said: “We have young players developing very well and they will continue to, but we have to be in the market to bring the best possible players to Celtic. There are two conditions – availability and affordability.

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC…the majestic billy McNeill

“We are always on the look-out. The key was to get the likes of Tom Rogic and Odsonne Edouard in.

“Like always, there are a few areas that we want to be better in and improve.

“It’s never easy because the team we have is developing very well and I like to develop our own players.”

Rodgers broke the club record for Edouard to bring him in from Paris Saint-Germain in a deal that will rise to £9million.

He added: “I was delighted. Coming in on a loan deal, we knew he was a talent and he proved over not just the games, but in training every single day, he is an outstanding player and has every attribute but still needs development and improvement.

“He came in as a 19-year-old and scored some important goals.

“His link-up play, his movement, everything, he is such a talented player and we think this is a great platform for him to come to a big club and prove more and develop.

“I think it is an exciting period for him.”

 
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