Confirmed: 3 January Celtic recruits make UECL squad; 1 misses out
UEFA have today published the Celtic squad that will be used in this season’s Europa Conference League competition.
The Hoops had until 11pm on Wednesday, February 2nd to confirm their squad to European football’s governing body. However, it’s taken several days for the squad to actually be published.
Celtic were allowed to add 3 new players to their squad after being knocked out of the Europa League at the group stage phase. And that opened itself up nicely for some of Ange Postecoglou’s summer signings.
Unsurprisingly then, Matt O’Riley, Reo Hatate, and Daizen Maeda have all been included from Ange’s first-team recruits last month. That means that midfielder Yosuke Ideguchi, currently out injured, will miss out on competing in the competition for Celtic this season.
The squad submitted to UEFA for next week’s tie against Bodo/Glimt cannot be amended in later stages of the competition. That means there will be no opportunity for Ange to give Ideguchi a spot in the squad.
The January signing from Gamba Osaka is currently sidelined after suffering from a horror tackle at Alloa several weeks ago.
Celtic looking to make waves in Europe’s third competition
Celtic’s tie with Bodo/Glimt will kickoff on February 17th at Parkhead before the return left a week later. And if you look at the teams currently in the competition, there’s no reason why we can’t make some serious inroads this season.
Sparta Prague, Slavia Prague, Fenerbahce, Partizan Belgrade, Midtjylland, PAOK, Rapid Vienna, Vitesse Arnhem, and Qarabag are just some of the opponents we could face if we overcome Bodo/Glimt. Hardly the cream of the European crop.
Not that Celtic can or should be underestimating anyone in Europe. Not with some of the results we’ve had in knockout ties over the years. After all, Midtjylland knocked us out of the Champions League qualifiers just several months ago.
As for the squad selection, there are no real surprises there. You can’t say it’s necessarily a sign that Ideguchi isn’t going to return in the near future. Ange simply only had 3 spots to give to his new signings. Could he honestly have justified leaving out Maeda, O’Riley, or Hatate? There would’ve been anarchy.
Yosuke simply needs to focus on getting himself back fit and playing a crucial role in our Premiership run-in this season, not to mention the Scottish Cup campaign too. We’re going to need him to play a big part when he returns, and not being available for Europe should give Ange extra flexibility for rotation.
So it’s no biggie. Ideguchi willl get his chance to impress here this season, but it just won’t come in Europe.