If Celtic’s fears that Kieran Tierney needs an operation are true, then he must be replaced with a new signing at left-back.
Emilio Izaguirre has not provided adequate cover for the Scotland international, and Johnny Hayes is also not a natural left-back.
Brendan Rodgers resorted to playing Callum McGregor at left-back against Rangers. The Celtic performance and result that day showed why that can never be an option again.
With that in mind, it is essential that Celtic replace Tierney with a new left-back, at least on loan.
Celtic have utilised the loan market well in the window so far. They’ve added Timothy Weah and Oliver Burke until the end of the season.
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While some fans may have preferred longer deals for both, they’d understand signing a left-sided defender on loan until the summer.
Izaguirre has been linked with a move to Turkey, so Celtic may be in the market for a left-back in any case.
There are reports that ex-Rangers trialist Anderw Gutman will sign for Celtic. Although he is a left-back, he is vastly inexperienced, and it is not thought he’d be in contention to play straight away.
Calvin Miller has returned from Dundee, but he is much more of a natural winger than full back. Despite Rodgers’ insistence on playing him at left-back, he’s rarely impressed there for Celtic.
Like Robbie Keane, it seems he’s always linked with a move to Celtic Park whenever a window opens. He has been a consistent starter for Leeds this season, so that would appear to be unlikely.
Short term-ism will be key
Although everyone would prefer Celtic to plan ahead for the future, their best interests may be served by building for the short term.
If Tierney is to have an extended absence, he must be replaced. However, there’s not one Celtic fan who would prefer to see the Hoops break the bank for a left-back than a centre-half.
With that said, in Tierney’s absence, a short-term solution at left-back will be required.
The trick for Celtic is finding a replacement who is good enough to fill in for Tierney while he’s out. Because the one they signed in the summer, isn’t up to the job.