MORITZ JENZ has been a no-show for Celtic in their three games since returning after the World Cup Finals break.

Ange Postecoglou has kept faith with his central defensive partnership of Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt for the wins over Aberdeen (1-0), Livingston (2-1) and St Johnstone (4-1).

The US international and the Sweden ace cost the Hoops boss £10.2million in transfer fees as he revamped the middle of his rearguard shortly after taking over from Neil Lennon in June last year with Kristoffer Ajer heading for Brentford, Christopher Jullien still recoving from injury and Shane Duffy returning to Brighton following his disastrous loan spell.

ON THE BALL…Moritz Jenz looks comfortable in possession during the 5-0 win at Kilmarnock in August.

Starfelt was first to arrive in a £4.2million deal from Rubin Kazan in July and Carter-Vickers was a late, late loan signing from Spurs on deadline day.

After an impressive temporary switch, the move was made permanent at £6million in the summer.

Jenz, 23, joined the champions on loan from Ligue 1 outfit Lorient around the same time, but he has had to be content with a place on the substitutes’ bench in recent weeks.

The situation has led to misguided speculation he could be heading back to his French club when the transfer window opens next week.

Unless something dramatic occurs, Jenz will be a Celtic player at least until his temporary deal expires in June 2023, as CQN explained over a FORTNIGHT ago.

We stated at the time that the towering German had six months to prove he is worth a permanent move to the Parkhead club.

There is an option to buy in the contract – much the same as the situation concerning Carter-Vickers and Filipe Jota – and Postecoglou will be assessing the player as the campaign progresses.

RISE AND SHINE…Moritz Jenz leaps above friend and foe to bullet in a header for Celtic’s second goal in the 3-1 win over Ross County in Dingwall.

Jenz has made 19 appearances since being brought to Glasgow and got off to a flyer with a goal on his debut against Ross County in Dingwall as the Hoops triumphed 3-1 on August 6.

He followed up a week later with an acrobatic effort in the 5-0 victory over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

Competition for a first-team places was ramped up further when the manager signed Vissel Kobe’s Yuki Kobayashi on a five-year deal and the 22-year-old J-League recruit will be available for selection when the move is rubberstamped in five days’ time.

Postecoglou has gone from being forced to throw in rookie teenager Dane Murray alongside Stephen Welsh for the Champions League qualifiers against FC Midtjylland – the youngster making his debut in the first leg after Nir Bitton’s red card – to being spoilt for choice.

As CQN stated earlier this month, Jenz will be given every chance to impress the manager and win a permanent move to Celtic.

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