It looked as though Celtic had avoided a major blunder last summer when Tom Rogic ended up staying instead of heading to Qatar.
Indeed, the Aussie was set for a £4million switch to the Middle East last year [Daily Mail]. It would’ve been a deal that left Hoops fans with mixed emotions. As much as Rogic has given the club some amazing moments, his impact was lessening.
In the end, however, it fell through and Rogic, who’s contracted to Parkhead until 2023, stayed. It wasn’t the worst news in the world either. We were going for the 10 at the time and having someone of his capabilities looked worthwhile.
In fact, come October/November, Rogic was threatening to break back into the side once again. Two assists at Pittodrie were followed by another at Fir Park. A goal at the San Siro in December was another sign that he had something to offer.
However, in the end, he’s been hugely disappointing despite being fit for the duration of the campaign. Since the start of October, Rogic has only failed to be involved in four league games. He also made appearances in all six of our Europa League matches and played 84 minutes against Ross County in the Betfred Cup. He’s had his opportunities.
Despite being recognised as one of our key threats in recent years, the Wizard of Oz has been anything but this season. He bagged a goal and an assist against St Mirren last month. That’s been his whack. In a total of 27 games in all competitions, Rogic has one goal and four assists.
Since the turn of the year, he’s been even more disappointing. He started five consecutive matches before Neil Lennon left the club. Despite it coinciding with a run of four wins, Rogic was largely anonymous.
Celtic man Tom Rogic isn’t the influence he once was
He was brought on yesterday at Tannadice and we got the same Rogic we’ve had over the last two years. Big Tam was slow on the ball whilst he failed to use his feet as smartly as he’s known for. He had a few efforts on goal, but such is Rogic’s cumbersome nature these days, they were all blocked.
Rogic will leave the club extremely well thought of by supporters. He’ll forever be a fan-favourite, with his work under Brendan Rodgers in particular unforgettable.
But now is the time to cash in. With Rogic’s contract up in 2023, this is the ideal time to get maximum value for him. With two years remaining, he can still be sold for a decent fee.
If interest in Qatar remains and Rogic fancies it, we should be doing all we can to resurrect the £4m that was on offer before. Even if that isn’t the case, the club must search for new suitors.
We need a clearout of the players who have become deadwood at the club. Unfortunately, despite his heroic acts in the past, Rogic now falls into that category.
If Celtic are starting from a clean slate in the summer, freeing up as many wages as we can is essential. Rogic won’t ever be forgotten at Parkhead, but it’s clear he’s had his day as an influential Hoops player.