At the time, you and I talked about the hoard of wingers at the club after the summer’s transfer business. James Forrest, Mikey Johnston, Liel Abada, Daizen Maeda, Luis Palma, Yang and Marco Tilio. That’s seven players for two starting spots; it was always going to be a handful keeping everyone happy. Marco got his first outing of the season at the weekend, playing for the Australia under-23s, and has apparently intimated a willingness to leave on loan in January. A rationalisation was always likely.
Unfortunately for Brendan Rodgers, he has never had all seven available to him. Mikey and Marco started the season injured, Liel soon joined them and Daizen is now out. We head to Rome next week without Liel, Daizen or suspended Luis, meaning Yang, James and Mikey are each likely to play some part in the game. It would be bizarre and unfair to ask Marco Tilio to make his Celtic debut in such circumstances.
Brendan needs to concentrate developed work on Luis and Yang. We are hampered by being unable to attract the finished product to Scottish football, so we have to excel at improving the players who arrive here with little more than potential. If either of these two leave Celtic without pushing forward as professionals, a key metric for the club will have failed.
Development is never linear, they will need support to realise their full potential, but by the end of the season they should be competing for a start alongside Daizen and Liel.