Alex McLeish believes Lennon will be delighted that Rogic never left Celtic

By David Walton

November 17, 2020

Former Rangers and Scotland manager Alex McLeish believes that Neil Lennon will be delighted that Tom Rogic never finalised his move to Qatar over the summer.

The Celtic flair player looked a cert to head for the exit door after a £4million move had been agreed for Tom to jet over to the Middle East (Daily Mail). However, the move broke down and Rogic continued to train at Lennoxtown as a Celtic player.

His influence in the team last season had been declining, and therefore not many were too upset at the thought of Rogic departing. Now, however, it’s a different story after the Wizard of Oz bagged an incredible five assists in the Hoops’ last three domestic matches.

All of a sudden, he’s one of the first names on the teamsheet. Regular BBC Sportsound pundit McLeish, therefore, feels that Lennon will now be buzzing that the mercurial Aussie stayed put.

As quoted by Football Insider, McLeish said: “Not half (be delighted), absolutely not half, because we spoke about Rogic, right at the start of the current season that he seemed to be a little bit out of things.

“I’m starting to think with Tom, because he’s got that big, lopey stride, and you’re thinking has Tom got slower, again, back to that legs thing, is he on the wain?

“And then he comes back with performances like that, the games he’s played recently and then in the semi-final – he’s always been a thorn in Aberdeen’s particular ventures over the years and again, he did the damage in the semi-final. He’s been a revelation since Neil brought him back into the team.”

Revelation is no understatement

Some will point to his stats and say that it’s only a handful of assists, and will question whether such a big fuss should really be made over a couple of performances against Aberdeen and one against Motherwell respectively.

But you have to take the big picture into consideration. Celtic just didn’t have anyone who was unlocking the door the way Rogic has over the past three games. It’s no surprise that the more he’s been involved, the better we’ve looked going forward.

In our last three domestic matches, Celtic have rattled home three in one game against Aberdeen and four in another against Motherwell. Rogic has had an assist in three of them. He’s making an impact, and it’s an impact that was much needed.

Celtic star Tom Rogic in action vs Motherwell / (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Had he jetted off to Qatar over the summer, who would we genuinely have had in reserve to produce the displays Tom has in recent games? Ryan Christie has blown hot and cold in a Celtic jersey this season, whilst Olivier Ntcham has been worse.

If anything has underlined the value Rogic adds to this squad then it’s the performances he’s produced since his reintroduction to the team. So don’t be surprised if he starts once again against Hibs on Saturday – his form merits it.

If big Tam can stay injury-free as the season rolls into the Christmas period, then the heat is about to firmly be cranked up on Rangers.

In other news, it was heartbreak for three Celtic stars this afternoon.