Celtic’s fringe-men continue to under-perform at Parkhead, and some of them need to get out.
That doesn’t necessarily mean their Celtic careers are over. Far from it, in fact. But many won’t see the game-time they require to develop at an accelerated rate.
Brendan Rodgers is close to finding his best XI at Celtic Park. The likes of Tom Rogic, Ryan Christie, Odsonne Edouard, James Forrest, and Filip Benkovic are just a handful of players who know their places are secured.
There are a variety of Hoops stars who are almost unbreakable when it comes to the starting line-up. Therefore, several fringe-men really have their work cut out for them.
Here, we list three who could seriously do with a loan move this month to help boost their progress.
Young Lewis Morgan was a hero at St Mirren before making the switch to Celtic Park in the summer. The club may have officially signed him a year ago, but he remained in Paisley for six months extra.
When he eventually did arrive in Glasgow, much was expected of him. Despite that, however, he’s made 13 appearances and is still yet to score or assist a single goal.
Generally, he gets shrugged off the ball too easily, and in a Celtic team who move the ball so quickly, players such as Morgan are often the target for rough treatment.
Despite Scott Sinclair’s mixed form, Rodgers has yet to give Morgan a run of games this season. With January signings expected to be incoming, Morgan’s place in the squad will become more peripheral.
Therefore, following in the footsteps of a Ryan Christie and taking up a Premiership loan move to up his build would be his best option.
When it comes to Jonny Hayes, he was a signing many would’ve like the sound of at the start.
A constant thorn in Celtic’s side, moving him over to Glasgow was seen as a shrewd move at the start of last season.
Yet, since arriving at Celtic, he seems to have lost many of the traits that made him so successful at Pittodrie. No longer does he put in those telling deliveries that were always dangerous in the Granite City. And despite being a goal threat at his previous club, that same menace has disappeared from his game.
There’s a reluctance from Hayes to make a big impact and be direct down the left. He looks more nervous to make a mistake than he is confident of making something happen.
There was a period of time last year when he was coming into a bit of form. A fractured tibia kept him out for over half a year, however, and it was back to square one.
Since then, Rodgers has given him the odd chance, but not on a consistent basis. It’s imperative now that Hayes finds a move that gets him the regular game-time he requires at 32-years of age.
This will perhaps be the most controversial one.
Mikey Johnston is just coming into first-team recognition at Parkhead. A few appearances against the likes of Motherwell, Dundee, and Rangers saw him score three goals in the former two. His performance at Ibrox, however, was a tad more quiet despite it being a tough game to get into.
This followed a run of eight matches at the start of the season where Johnston failed to make much of an impact.
Rodgers clearly rates him highly. He consistently speaks well of the youngster, and recognises that he’s one for the future.
But it’s important not to get too sidetracked with his recent appearances.
Celtic are set to tool up heavily in January in a bid to get a famous treble treble. The main position where the Hoops will be looking to improve upon is up front.
That, in turn, means that Johnston’s appearances as a makeshift striker will be even more limited than they already are.
There is the chance that he could battle Sinclair down the left-side. If Rodgers doesn’t see that being the case, however, then it’s time to get him regular games elsewhere in Scotland or down south.