Celtic defender Greg Taylor has glorious Scotland opportunity

By David Walton

December 15, 2019

Celtic and Scotland left-back Greg Taylor should be the most highly-motivated player at Parkhead over the next several months.

Unfortunately for former Celt and current Arsenal star Kieran Tierney, his dislocated shoulder picked up against West Ham will see him sidelined until March (BBC). It’s sad to see KT continue to go through his injury struggles, as his season from hell at Arsenal just goes on and on.

However, at Parkhead, Taylor must seize the opportunity that’s been put in front of him for Scotland.

Kieran Tierney is out for several months (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Scotland face Israel in a Euro 2020 playoff showdown at Hampden Park on March 26th. Should they win that, they’ll progress to a match in either Serbia or Norway.

For Taylor, Tierney’s return to action didn’t read well. If he managed to gain momentum heading into the New Year and seriously kicked on, he could’ve easily been in Steve Clarke’s plans for those crunch matches ahead of the Celtic man. Considering Andy Robertson is a cert to be in too, it may have been a struggle for Clarke to select three left-backs in his squad.

Tierney injury opens up the Scotland door for Greg Taylor

The game has now changed. Tierney may be set to return in March, but you would imagine there will be a period where Arsenal will want him to slowly build up his match sharpness. Him being involved for Scotland should now be out of the question.

Greg Taylor impressed against both Cyprus and Kazakhstan last month (Oliver Hardt – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Taylor’s case is also helped by the fact he played in Scotland’s last two matches against Cyprus and Kazakhstan respectively. He slotted into Steve Clarke’s side with ease – a manager who knows him superbly well from their time together at Kilmarnock.

Clarke even came out before the Cyrpus and Kazakhstan matches and stated that those who turned up for those double-header matches could catch his eye (Press and Journal). Both Robertson and Tierney didn’t show.

Taylor has a massive few months ahead then. He has to do his best to get back in this Celtic side and continue to attract glances from Clarke. These matches are arguably the most important ones Scotland have had in a long time. It would be great if we could have as many Celts in there as possible.

The problem for the former Kilmarnock man is that he’s only played five times for the club (Transfermarkt). Granted, his latest performance was a 90-minute one in our last league game against Hamilton. However, for the big occasion, you still feel that both Boli Bolingoli and Jonny Hayes are ahead of him.

Taylor has only played five times for Celtic this season (Andy Buchanan/AFP via Getty Images)

Hopefully, Taylor uses the motivation of March to help spur himself on at Parkhead. There’s a real chance of international involvement for him if he can break into this Celtic side.

He won’t want to be so frozen out of the picture that Clarke looks elsewhere. His inclusion in the last two games for Scotland were positive, but March is where it gets serious. Taylor simply must build up a case to be included after Tierney’s unfortunate injury.