Celtic youngster Scott Robertson ready to start thriving at Parkhead

By Euan Davidson

July 8, 2021

Celtic midfielder Scott Robertson impressed plenty of supporters in 20-21.

During two loan spells, sandwiching a confusing return to Celtic in the winter, Robertson was a stand-out for both Gillingham and Doncaster Rovers in England’s League One.

Robertson spoke in May about hitting the ground running upon his return to Celtic. Today, in an interview with the club, he reflected on the benefit of his loan spells.

Combined, the midfielder played over 1600 minutes of football [Transfermarkt]. Undoubtedly, it’s at least 1500 more than he would’ve likely seen at Paradise. That’s no knock on his abilities, but more a reflection of the crowd ahead of him in Celtic’s midfield.

Robertson told Celtic TV:

“For me last season, it was important to go out on loan, and try to play some regular first-team football. To be fair, with Gillingham it probably couldn’t have started any better, playing for the first couple of months week-in, week-out.

“Then moving onto January, I went on loan to Doncaster, and that was a good experience as well.

“It was the first time I lived myself. Only being 19, it was tough having to learn to cook and clean and things. But that’ll help me in the future.

Asked whether his goal was to impress Ange Postecoglou enough to start him, Robertson said [Celtic TV]:

“That’s probably my plan. Just to try to get to get as much game time as I can in the next couple of weeks.

“Hopefully I can put myself in a good place for the upcoming season.”

Celtic Academy star Scott Robertson shows risk and reward of loan system

Celtic are in a bit of a strange position, midfielder wise.

If you’re into American sports, you might be familiar with the “timeline” concept. For example, a basketball team might not want to suddenly trade for expensive veteran players if they have a young core who are a year or so from being competitive. They have a timeline for success, and it’s important not to mess with it.

Does that make sense? There are parallels here; Celtic have a number of young midfielders who would get into teams across the league. Barry Coffey, Scott Robertson, Ewan Henderson Luca Connell are all on the cusp of the first-team, in an ideal world.

Photo by Rob Casey/SNS Group via Getty Images

It’s just that, ahead of them, there are better, more experienced midfielders. Central midfield is probably our best position. Would you drop Callum McGregor or David Turnbull for any of these guys?

Therein lies the problem. And we can’t continue to just loan out some of our brightest talents ad nauseam. Their development would surely hasten with Celtic, competing for trophies and in Europe, more than say, a loan at Gillingham.

Scott Robertson’s talent is well-known. Celtic played a blinder letting him out on loan to improve. However, there’ll come a point where a generation of Celtic youngsters will either get in the team, or have to leave.

It’s just another headache for Ange Postecoglou.

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