Greg Taylor’s run in the team earlier this month was certainly short-lived, and now it’s time he got another.
Taylor managed a four-game spell as he made appearances against Livingston, Ross County, Hamilton, and Stade Rennais respectively. Throughout that period, he bagged an assist and looked like a useful acquisition going forward.
However, once Boli Bolingoli and Jonny Hayes returned from injury, that appears to have been that. Bolingoli started against Cluj and Hibs, whilst Hayes won his place back in last night’s 2-0 win at Hearts.
Taylor has sat on the bench for all three games, despite impressing in his initial run. And as we close in on the winter break, now is the perfect time for Neil Lennon to put the youngster back in.
Hayes has been a real reliable character for Celtic this season. Yet that doesn’t change the fact that he’s still a squad player, and shouldn’t be anything else at the moment. We know what we’ll get from him when called upon. He’s a tremendous servant to have around, and always does the hard yards.
But Taylor is our future in the position. At only 22, he was signed for the long-term and must have an eye on being our first-choice left-back for years to come.
Some fans were also left questioning last night as to why Taylor continues to miss out despite not proving to be an inferior player to either Hayes or Boli
Is Greg Taylor truly third-choice?
The worry for Taylor is that he may now be considered third-choice. Boli and Hayes have both played more than him this season, with Taylor not yet getting his chance in a game you could consider to be big.
He would’ve wanted a run out in Cluj last Thursday. Or, at the very least, a cameo appearance against the Romanians or Hearts at Tynecastle. Seeing Hayes jump ahead of him once again can’t be the best feeling for him.
Hayes, for all of his good work, is 32. He’s entered the peak years of his career, whilst Taylor is at such an early stage and needs the games a lot more than the Irishman.
It would be different if Hayes was known to come in and perform poorly when out the team. His consistency is incredible, and he would still do a big job for us if called upon occasionally.
Boli, meanwhile, hasn’t shown anything to suggest he’s a better player than Taylor. The Belgian has looked a tad sloppy in possession in his last two matches since returning. Compare that to Taylor’s performances recently and you can’t say Boli is hands-down the better player for the position.
If Taylor gets another run and Lennon notices some severe weaknesses in his game, that’s fair enough. But right now, from a fan’s perspective, all we see is an exciting young talent not playing every week. Given the fact he’ll hopefully be the future of the club at left-back, it would be ideal to see more trust placed in him.