If there’s one area Celtic have to strengthen in January, it’s providing more cover for James Forrest.
Daniel Arzani’s injury was a crucial blow to all Celtic supporters. The Australian wonder-kid showed signs of life on his debut at Dundee. Unfortunately, however, a nasty ACL tear has ruled him out for the campaign.
Whilst everyone will hope Arzani’s recovery goes as smoothly as possible, Celtic have to look forward. January is going to be a huge month, and the Hoops have no cover for Forrest should he get injured.
Let’s face it, it’s not unlike Jimmy to pick up a nasty knock just when you need him most. His performances this season have once again been superb, but he can’t be relied upon.
If Forrest were to get injured, there are no natural replacements ready to step in. Scott Sinclair, Lewis Morgan, and Mikey Johnston can all vie it out for the left-wing spot. There are no fears down that flank.
Rodgers, however, has to prioritise some cover down the right-side during the Winter break.
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Some can argue that Ryan Christie could give it a go down the right. He’s a naturally left-footed player, however, and wouldn’t be comfortable. Instead, Celtic have to bring someone in short-term at least.
There’s no guarantee, as sad as it is, that Arzani is going to come back the same player he looked when he got injured. It would be a better idea for Rodgers to go out and find a replacement that Arzani can battle with when he returns.
Forrest will always be the first-choice unless the Hoops really break the bank. Given what happened last summer, however, I don’t think many Celtic fans will be betting their house on it.
Speculation has opened on Aiden McGeady potentially arriving again. He was quoted as saying he would be interested in a return to Parkhead before his career is out. This would be a no-go, however, as he isn’t the same player Celtic let go to Spartak Moscow.
A young, vibrant, hungry right-midfielder is what the Parkhead side need in January. Whilst Celtic’s first XI continue to thrive, there isn’t as much in reserve to get excited about.
It’s imperative Rodgers returns his Celtic squad to that same level of strength in depth they’ve had over the last two seasons. Finding some cover for Forrest would go a long way to doing just that.