EBOUE KOUASSI has yet to kick a ball for Celtic during their pre-season preparations.

The Ivory Coast midfielder, who was bought for £2.8million from Russian outfit Krasnodar in January, has had to sit it out after sustaining a thigh injury before the Hoops headed for Austria.

Kouassi made just one start last term and racked up just 104 minutes of game time in four months.

But Brendan Rodgers revealed the 19-year-old enforcer was determined to go on tour despite the injury to remain part of the plans.

And the Irishman believes the player will be pushing to make the breakthrough at Parkhead in the coming months.

He said: “He was brought in as one who would, over a period of time, develop.

“He was a young player really at 19 and the first six months were about customising to your language and the city of Glasgow – and the football.

“With young players, some develop quickly, some need that wee bit of time.

“Also, he’s got is real competition in there. But he was one we felt was more for the future, but could come in and play now if needed. It’s just development.”

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