New Celtic signing Luis Palma says he is ready to make his debut at Ibrox on Sunday.
It’s a huge weekend for the Hoops as they travel to the home of their fierce rivals knowing that a positive result is required.
Our performances and results haven’t been good enough over the past fortnight but now there is a big opportunity for the team to make a major title statement against Rangers.
The club were busy in the final days of the transfer window, signing Palma from Aris Thessaloniki on a five-year deal, as well as loan moves for Nat Phillips and Paulo Bernardo.
The latter two could feature at Ibrox but Palma seems by far the most likely candidate, given that he was announced back on Wednesday evening.
When asked about his readiness for the fixture the Honduran couldn’t have been definitive as he made a comparison to a recent meeting with perhaps the greatest player ever.
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“Am I ready for Rangers? One hundred per cent,” he told The National. “If I am chosen then of course I am ready. It would be a really big moment for me. I know the importance of the match and the importance of Celtic getting the win.
“Playing for Celtic in the derby would be the biggest match of my career. Even bigger than playing against Messi? Of course.
“I played against him for Honduras in Miami in front of a big crowd. He is an amazing player and that was a big moment. It was an incredible experience and this will be another one.”
So now the decision rests on the shoulders of Brendan Rodgers. Palma is a left-winger so the choice will probably be between him, Daizen Maeda and Hyunjun Yang, with Liel Abada likely to occupy the right-wing berth
Maeda has been a good performer in these fixtures but seems a little off form at the moment. Yang, who can also play on the right, has shown promise but starting a game of this magnitude may be a big ask for him.
Palma may have the star quality of Jota — someone who offered us so much in these games. He could just thrive in the heat of battle and give us the spark we’ve been badly missing in recent weeks.
In other news, Liel Abada has committed his long-term future to Celtic