Celtic hero Chris Sutton on the Hoops scenario that was 'hard to imagine' mere weeks ago

By Euan Davidson

February 5, 2022

Celtic favourite Chris Sutton is never far from an insightful Celtic take, and he’s made an excellent point about Tom Rogic and Ange Postecoglou’s recruitment.

A matter of mere weeks ago, Rogic was in scintillating Celtic form, which he took into his international displays. Called up by Australia boss Graham Arnold, his performance against Vietnam spoke for itself. Supporters even compared him to Zinedine Zidane.

It’ll be exciting to bring him back to the fold. However, due to smart January recruitment, Celtic haven’t missed the Wizard of Oz at all. Chris Sutton believes that, through the performances of new Bhoy Matt O’Riley, Rogic’s absence just hasn’t been felt.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

That’s no criticism of Rogic, who’ll surely be a top candidate to start games again now he’s back. However, Sutton pointed out that it ended up being a non-issue. Not only that, he pointed to another star man Celtic are having to do without, but are still thriving.

Sutton wrote [Daily Record]: “How many Celtic fans could have told you in the middle of December who Reo Hatate and Matt O’Riley were and what their attributes were?

“They’ve been in the door for two minutes and already they are part of the furniture. Hatate looks like a class act. O’Riley has slotted perfectly into his role.

“It was hard to imagine Tom Rogic could go away on international duty and no one would notice he was absent due to O’Riley’s displays. That’s just brilliant recruitment.

“Hatate has just walked into David Turnbull’s position and looks classy. Celtic are doing all of this without their top scorer in Kyogo Furuhashi.”

Ange shows his class again as a brilliant week for Celtic continues

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Ange shows his class again as a brilliant week for Celtic continues
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Chris Sutton makes salient point; this Celtic team are dominating even with key players still missing

You almost forget, after Wednesday night, that there’s still a pretty serious list of recent absentees in this Celtic squad.

As mentioned, Tom Rogic looked talismanic this season, but Matt O’Riley has slotted in perfectly. David Turnbull was a key player before being injured in the Premier Sports Cup Final. Hatate has excelled.

Meanwhile up front, Liel Abada has made up for Kyogo Furuhashi’s absence with consistent goal-scoring performances. He’s not even a centre-forward.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

It’s just an ideal scenario, especially knowing that – barring more injuries – Ange Postecoglou is going to be able to name a formidable starting XI and bench going forward. Before, we lacked creativity and nous off the bench; that’s not an issue now.

Again, without putting words in the mouth of Chris Sutton here, there is no offence meant to Tom Rogic. None whatsoever. He’s been brilliant this season, and on balance, you’d put him in your “strongest XI” if such a thing was possible.

But have we missed him? Results show that we haven’t, necessarily. When you bring a player of that quality back into the fold, it can only be a fantastic thing.

Chris Sutton is right; recruitment has been outstanding. January can be a speculative kind of transfer window, but Celtic got exactly what they needed.

And more.

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