Former Celtic striker Chris Sutton thinks the next few weeks are massive for three players in particular, writing in his weekly Daily Record column.
Patryk Klimala, Vakoun Bayo and Ismaila Soro have all yet to cement themselves as trusted go-to players within Neil Lennon’s unit, managing to make just a handful of appearances between them.
Klimala and Soro were only signed in January, so it’s understandable that they might not quite have settled in yet, especially considering the ongoing public health situation.
Bayo meanwhile has had longer to prove himself but has had his fair share of misfortune, suffering injuries that have hindered his progress.
Now with a period of pre-season training and friendly matches, the trio will know this is their chance to prove something to Lennon.
BBC Sport man Sutton pondered their situation today, writing in The Daily Record: “It’s good to see Klimala has bulked up but as long as it’s not at the expense of the pace which his reputation is built on.
“The new few weeks will be key. That’s why this is a huge pre-season for Klimala, as well as the likes of Bayo and Ismaila Soro, who also arrived for decent money in January.
“This is their chance to show their manager they can be Celtic players this coming season. At the moment Lennon will probably be thinking about adding another striker as back up – it’s up to Klimala and Bayo to show him there’s no need.”
Considering that Klimala and Soro are Lennon-era signings, you’d expect them to have a better chance of making a real impact over the coming season than Bayo.
It’s also true that the squad has been reset somewhat by the pandemic.
Celtic may not be as willing to dip into the transfer market this summer, which might mean players on the fringes find themselves getting more opportunities.
Encouragingly, Callum McGregor has been talking up the progress of Klimala this week which suggests he’s impressing at Lennoxtown.
It’s always difficult when shopping in the low seven-figure range but hopefully these signings end up proving their worth within this successful squad.