Andrew Gutman’s loan cancellation yesterday seemed like a bit of a blow at face value, but might it be a blessing in disguise?
Gutman was announced as a double-signing along with Manny Perez. The idea was that Gutman would then head out to Nashville whilst Perez spent the rest of the year at North Carolina FC.
For some reason, the MLS have refused to sanction the deal to see Gutman head back to the USA. No reason has been given for this, especially considering that the Perez move to North Carolina will still go ahead.
But as for the man also wanted by Chicago Fire before signing for the Hoops, he’ll be going nowhere.
The automatic reaction to this news is sure to be a negative one. After all, this was Celtic’s decision to loan him out, so they clearly believed this was something that Gutman needed.
But what this does do is provide Celtic with some additional and much-needed cover at left-back.
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Kieran Tierney continues to sit out through injury, with no date set for his return. But his replacement, Emilio Izaguirre, has failed to look convincing on a consistent basis.
Despite Gutman’s inexperience, he should surely be able to come in and play deputy to Izzy. As it stands, Celtic don’t have a natural left-back should anything happen to the Honduran, and that should’ve been rectified in the transfer window regardless.
Therefore, Gutman’s stay at Parkhead should see him come straight in and fight for his place.
Another thing this does do is stop any ridiculous notion of playing Callum McGregor at left-back too. The midfield maestro played in that position against Rangers last month, and it took away most of his influence on the game.
Jonny Hayes is another who Brendan Rodgers has given a shot at left-back, but he’s simply not good enough defensively to deputise in that area.
Clearly, Celtic wanted Gutman and Perez to earn some experience. But there’s now no better place for the former to hone his craft at than Parkhead.