MORITZ JENZ has six months to prove he is worth a permanent move to Celtic.
The towering German centre-back signed a season-long loan deal when he arrived from French club Lorient in the summer.
The defender has made 19 appearances since joining the champions and got off to a flyer with a soaring header on his debut in the 3-1 win over Ross County in Dingwall on August 6.
Jenz followed up with an overhead-kick strike in the 5-0 victory over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park a week later.
HEAD BHOY…Moritz Jenz turns away in triumph after scoring on his debut with Ross County keeper Ross Laidlaw left helpless.
However, the 23-year-old back-four operator knows he is in for a fight with Carl Starfelt for first-team appearances with the Swede on his way back after a lengthy spell on the sidelines following injury in the 4-0 derby romp over Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s Ibrox outfit at Parkhead on September 3.
The £4.2million purchase from Rubin Kazan in late July last year limped off just before the hour mark to be replaced by Jenz and only made his comeback a couple of games before the World Cup break last month.
Postecoglou has also reinforced the left-hand side of his back four with the signing of Vissel Kobe’s Yuki Kobayashi on a five-year deal and the J-League recruit, 23, will be available for selection when the transfer window opens on January 1 2023.
Jenz, though, admitted he is loving life as a Celt and has every intention of impressing Postecoglou enough to win a lengthy contract.
He said: “It was important to me from the start to establish close contact with the fans because they support this club and make it something special.
HOOP HOOP HOORAY…Moritz Jenz celebrates Celtic’s 3-1 victory over Ross County in Dingwall in August. David Turnbull and Carl Starfelt play their part in the background.
“When you wear the shirt, you are not playing for yourself, you are playing to be a part of Celtic’s history of success.
“Celtic is old school, Celtic is mysterious, Celtic is pure football and above all Celtic is a religion. When you stand at a home game, close your eyes and get goosebumps just from the chants, you know why this club fascinates the world.”
Jenz, speaking to Swiss website transfermarkt.ch, continued: “Scottish football is extremely physical. From my point of view, the strikers are very hard.
“Trash talk and concealed kicks against any part of the body are apparently normal in Scotland. So, I had to learn how to take action!
“We are characterised by a really great unity. When we say we’re a team, we prove that out on the pitch. All of us want to play for Celtic and have a winning mentality.
“When we stand in the tunnel, we promise ourselves to stand up for each other like a wall.
“In my opinion, our results in the Champions League were because of a lack of international experience. You only learn over time and with enough games how to assert yourself against international stars.”
PRIZE GUYS…Moritz Jenz is congratulated by Filipe Jota, Matt O’Riley, Kyogo Furuhashi and Cameron Carter-Vickers after his acrobatic effort in the 5-0 victory over Kilmarnck at Rugby Park.
The 6ft-plus German star added: “Nobody calls me Moritz anymore, they just say Mercedes.
“A few weeks ago, I went jogging with my dog at 6am because I thought no-one would see me.
“Suddenly a large number of construction workers called down from a high-rise building: ‘Hey Mercedes, stop, we want a photo’.
“They actually stopped work so they could take a picture with me. Unbelievable, but somehow also incredibly beautiful. The city is really green and white.”
It will be interesting to see who Postecoglou selects for the left-hand side of his defence – Starfelt or Jenz – when the champions restart their Premiership crusade against Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Saturday at 12.30pm.