Andrew Gutman's debut Celtic displays show promise

By David Walton

June 30, 2019

Andrew Gutman’s debut performances for Celtic have come a lot earlier than expected.

He was given a big boost by being named as part of the Celtic training camp that took to Austria and Switzerland. Indeed, Celtic still have one final game of their pre-season camp to go against St Gallen. That comes after two victories against Pinkafeld and Wiener Sportclub respectively.

And one of the many men who have managed to play in both is young USA talent Gutman. The left-back appeared for the second 45 against Pinkafeld during the 6-1 rout. He then managed another 45 minutes against Wiener yesterday in the hard-fought 2-1 win.

Andrew Gutman managed the prestigious Hermann trophy for his college performances (Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

If we were to say we knew a lot about Gutman, we would be lying. Yes, he had managed to impress in his 12 UCL appearances with Charlotte Independence. But that was the USL with Charlotte Independence. This is Celtic. Chalk and cheese comes to mind here.

And we also know he won the prestigious MAC Hermann Trophy after graduating from college football only back in January. This is a famous title in America that’s awarded to the top male and female players from the college set-up.

Gutman’s debut performances could make us think twice

At the moment, Celtic have been reported with a move for Rapid Vienna’s Boli Mbombo (Daily Mail). He’s reportedly worth £3million according to the Daily Mail, and is being courted by the likes of Sampdoria and Napoli respectively.

Granted, this could be in case Kieran Tierney leaves this summer amid his own future being in the spotlight. But, if we can hang onto KT, it could be the case that we don’t actually need a further left-back to rival him.

Emilio Izaguirre’s departure leaves a gap needing filled (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Emilio Izaguirre’s departure left a spot open for someone to hop into. It looks like Gutman could have the credentials, even at this early stage, to make an impact in it.

Why? His pace has been the standout factor so far. His combination play with Mikey Johnston has been a joy to watch, and he’s breezed past his opposite numbers in both of his pre-season outings so far.

Doesn’t matter who he’s facing

Yes, it’s pre-season. Yes, it’s lowly-ranked Austrian sides. But playing inferior quality doesn’t make you quicker or have a better delivery. Gutman has shown terrific speed as well as an eye for a cross in his first two games in a Celtic jersey. You can tell so far that he’s been playing on a weekly basis back in the USA.

Is Gutman ready for the Celtic step-up? (Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

But he’s so far been one of the surprising elements of pre-season. Considering we didn’t know anything about him before he arrived, he could easily be the standout performer so far given the unknown quantity factor that surrounds him.

In any case, we’ll only know what he’s truly all about when the competitive action begins. But as it stands, there definitely appears to be something there with the USA youngster.