Chris Sutton has been running the rule over Brendan Rodgers’ midfield options at Celtic during the international break, as the Bhoys prepare for a very important stage of the season.

Celtic return at home to Dundee next weekend before launching into the UEFA Champions League group stage, which will be juggled with week-to-week Scottish Premiership action.

The recent derby victory was undoubtedly a boost to the confidence of players, staff and supporters, but bigger challenges are now ahead.

In a column focused on his desire to sign Reo Hatate up to a new contract, Sutton also reviewed Celtic’s other options beyond Callum McGregor.

The pundit stated [Daily Record]: “I have to give special mention to Matt O’Riley for his performances in the opening month of the season. He has got everything in the fact he can score goals, he can make goals and he can also do a shift defensively to help the side.

“Although he did a shift for the team, David Turnbull’s inability to really deliver in a big game still concerns me and was again evident at Ibrox, but Odin Thiago Holm stepped in and impressed. He may not be ready to be a fully-fledged regular at this stage of his development, but against Rangers, he looked comfortable just as he had done when coming off the bench at Pittodrie.

“The Norwegian is tidy on the ball, got forward to have a shot at Jack Butland within seconds of arriving into the fray and finished up with a crunching block on Todd Cantwell seconds before the final whistle was sounded.”

Celtic v Athletic Bilbao - Pre-Season Friendly
Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

The next couple of months will be defining for the direction of Brendan Rodgers’ midfield. McGregor is lock-in to start consistently, but there could be a fair amount of rotation between the other options. Hatate, O’Riley, Holm, Bernardo and Turnbull are all likely to get opportunities.

Whoever takes them will then get priority after the winter break when the schedule starts to calm down a little. The depth is pretty strong, is now about the players showing they are worthy of becoming the main men at Celtic Park in support of the captain.

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