When will Brendan Rodgers run out of patience with Eboue Kouassi?
Eboue Kouassi’s Celtic future simply has to be up for debate at this stage.
Brendan Rodgers signed the Ivory Coast star from FC Krasnodar, but to say he hasn’t shown much yet would be an understatement. Kouassi has, quite simply, been an unmitigated disaster so far.
In recent weeks, Kouassi had been nowhere near the first-team squad. In fact, he hadn’t been seen in any of the last eight match-day squads before appearing against Hibernian. Beforehand, he hadn’t even seen any game-time since his pitiful performance in the 1-0 loss at Hearts.
Rodgers gave him a huge opportunity to impress at Tynecastle on match-day two of the season. Celtic traveled to Tynecastle, and Kouassi looked a decent choice because of his apparent midfield bite. It was always going to be a battle in the engine room at Hearts, and it was a bold move by Rodgers.
Nobody, however, expected the former Krasnodar man to be just as terrible on the ball as he was. His passing was shocking, he was missing free headers, and looked as uncomfortable as anyone possibly could on a football pitch.
Already, it feels like this was one of the last straws in terms of Kouassi for Rodgers. Celtic may now be looking to shift him on in January if there are any willing suitors, particularly back in Russia where he somehow impressed so much.
Despite appearing later on against Hibs, Kouassi did nothing. Once again, the midfielder looked poor in possession, and didn’t bring any sort of quality that wasn’t previously there.
He apparently needed time
Rodgers consistently stated last season that Kouassi needed time. Coming from another country and barely featuring, not many would argue with it. The annoying thing for Celtic supporters, however, is that they haven’t seen anything to get excited about from the midfielder.
With Celtic stacked for quality in that area of the pitch, you have to wonder where he now fits in. Youssuf Mulumbu was brought in late on in the transfer window, and this could signal the end for Kouassi. Mulumbu brings to the table what Kouassi was supposed to, and looks a real find.
Rodgers’ signing policy at Celtic Park has consistently been under the microscope for a series of questionable recruits. There have been plenty of positive ones such as Moussa Dembele, Scott Sinclair, and Mulumbu. The issue, however, is the fact that there far too many Kouassis on that list.
At the moment, it seems as though Rodgers doesn’t have much faith in him to put in a performance anymore. A lack of time in match-day squads seems like an ominous warning to the youngster. If he fails to make any impression between now and January, it’s difficult to know where he would then fit in.
His cameo against Hibs means nothing.