Today’s fitness boosts for Celtic was bad news for both Jeremy Toljan and Oliver Burke.
The duo haven’t been part of Neil Lennon’s first-choice XI for a couple of months now. Burke did get a chance to impress at Ibrox on Sunday, but it was his first start in over a month. Toljan, meanwhile, has been the second choice to Mikael Lustig for a couple of months.
And with two games of the season remaining, you couldn’t blame the duo for breathing a big sigh when they heard that both Lustig and James Forrest are likely to make the Scottish Cup final (Daily Record).
It remains to be seen if both players also make the Premiership match against Hearts on Sunday. But regardless, it could rob both Toljan and Burke of their big chances to shine on cup final day.
Burke especially would’ve likely relished one last chance. A starring display in the Scottish Cup final against Hearts could’ve perhaps changed fan opinion on him. Toljan, however, has been poor ever since he arrived from Borussia Dortmund.
Even if either player does get to play against Hearts in the Premiership, it’s a meaningless encounter. Not much can be taken from it, and even an impressive performance in that one wouldn’t raise too many eyebrows.
There’s surely no road to recovery at this stage
It could now be safe to assume that the injury boosts for Celtic today has signaled the end of Toljan and Burke at Celtic.
For Toljan especially, there’s simply no chance he gets in ahead of Lustig at Hampden next Sunday. Lustig has been praised by Lennon consistently since the Northern Irishman took over back in February.
For Burke, he could perhaps have a small glimmer of hope in the fact that Odsonne Edouard could be a slight doubt. If the Frenchman misses out, combined with Timothy Weah’s departure from the club, it could leave Burke as the only potential option up front.
Celtic will be doing all they can to make sure Edouard is fit, however. Even if it means the former PSG man missing out at home to Hearts this Sunday, you would imagine the Hoops would take that risk.
Between Burke and Toljan, they’ve made 42 appearances at Parkhead since their January loan moves. Neither has done anywhere near enough to warrant further interest beyond the summer.
Dortmund and West Bromwich Albion will likely be getting their players back with no fresh offers from Celtic. And at this stage of the game, it looks as though their Celtic careers are already over.