Brendan Rodgers has given a big hint about his plans for the Europa League squad, stating that Jeremy Toljan is highly likely to be in it.
The German only arrived on deadline-day, but the importance of his arrival cannot be understated. Given the constant defensive lapses from Mikael Lustig, it was essential that the Hoops strengthened in that area over January.
But what it’s also interestingly done has given Rodgers a Europa League dilemma. Despite signing four new players to come in and make an immediate impact, he can only add three of them to his European squad.
And, speaking today via Celtic TV, Rodgers more or less hinted that Toljan will seal one of those places.
“Not really, no (I haven’t thought about who to add). You (media) have probably thought about it more than me.
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“I would think so, yeah (Toljan to be added)”
It’s clear Rodgers simply wasn’t wanting to give too much away regarding the Europa League squad. But he did find it a tad difficult to dismiss the idea Toljan will be in it.
That means that either Oli Burke, Timothy Weah, or Vakoun Issouf Bayo will miss it. Taking the fact that Bayo isn’t even match-fit into consideration, he has to be the favourite to drop out of contention.
Burke and Weah have already managed to get two goals each during their first month at Celtic Park. They’ve added plenty to the attack, and their potential should be too difficult to ignore for Rodgers when he makes his decision.
The only reason Toljan may not have made it was down to his own match-fitness. He’s been training with Dortmund, but he hasn’t played a match all season. Considering the Valencia clash is just less than two weeks away, it’s reasonable to have thought he would have a fight to be fit.
It’s also important to state that Rodgers hasn’t yet made his mind up publicly. For all we know, he hasn’t even informed his players of the decision. He did look a tad uncomfortable with the question when asked.
But all fingers at the moment surely point to Bayo when everything is weighed up.