BRENDAN RODGERS can explain why £1million defender Marvin Compper has played only one game for Celtic since his January move from RB Leipzig – the form of Kristoffer Ajer.
The 32-year-old German made his first Hoops appearance in the 3-0 win over Morton in the Scottish Cup at Parkhead on March 3. And hasn’t been sighted since.
Rodgers said: “It was difficult for Marvin because he was injured in Dubai during the winter break, which put him out for a while.
“During that period, young Kris has come into the team and been absolutely outstanding. So, there have been others ahead of Marvin.
“His qualities are pretty clear for us, his experience and his way of working with the younger guys in training. Of course, he wants to play as well, but these aren’t fitness games we’re playing.
“I’m certainly not sentimental. We need to pick a team that gets the results. I’ll make a change if I don’t like the way we’re playing.
“It’s always been irrespective of age for me. When I first came in Kris was a midfielder and I thought his best position would be centre-half. Maybe in Norway he could play midfield, but he has big possibilities at centre-half.
“I knew he wasn’t going to get the games there for me at first, so we loaned him to Kilmarnock to get that positional experience. But it was more so he had to head the ball, because I knew he would be under pressure with them.
“That’s important if he’s going to do well in the British game. He did well there, came back to us and looked as if he’d developed as a man. Then it was just about timing and when to put him in.
“He did well in some of the Champions League qualifiers but still needed more time to develop. Now he’s in the team with a better understanding of the position.
“He has everything. His potential is huge. He’s 6ft 5in, quick, can play football. He’s a very bright boy as well, he knows there’s still a lot of learning for him. He’s got this great hunger to get better, which I love in players, and he’s not even 20 yet.
“Marvin is a good guy, I like him. Hopefully, in his time here he gets a chance to show his qualities. But that’s only if other players aren’t playing so well.”
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