Lennoxtown set to be busy next week after a series of puzzling Celtic international calls

By Hamish Carton

March 15, 2023

Lennoxtown may still be pretty full of Celtic stars next week, despite it being an international break.

After Ange Postecoglou‘s team face Hibernian on Saturday, club football will once again be halted in favour of the international game.

Usually, this means that members of the Celtic squad will be heading around the world to play for their countries.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

That’s still true to an extent this time, but a surprising number of our key players will be remaining in Scotland after a series of puzzling international decisions.

From our five-strong Japanese contingent, only Daizen Maeda will be on his travels. Reo Hatate and Kyogo Furuhashi are unlikely to be too happy about that.

The pair are contenders to be our player of the year. So is Cameron Carter-Vickers, but he has surprisingly been overlooked for the US squad.

Japan and the USA must have incredible options at their disposal to leave Hatate, Kyogo and Carter-Vickers out.

Even with Scotland, where we usually have three or four players included, there is a shortage of Celtic talent.

Only Callum McGregor was called up by Steve Clarke, with the likes of Anthony Ralston, James Forrest and Greg Taylor all not included.

The likes of Joe Hart, Jota and Alexandro Bernabei also won’t be called up by their countries.

So that’s at least a dozen good players left at home while their nations do battle.

We should at least have a number called up. Carl Starfelt, Sead Haksabanovic, Matt O’Riley (under-21s), Hyeongyu Oh and Aaron Mooy have all been included so far.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The likes of Alistair Johnston and Liel Abada could join them in the coming days.

From a purely short-term point of view, it’s good news for Celtic that the majority of our players will be rested over the next fortnight.

With some big fixtures to come after the resumption, it’s crucial that we have as few injuries as possible.

Let’s get through Saturday first, then we can start crossing our fingers and hoping for the best.

In other news, Scott Brown had some interesting things to say during a Q&A earlier on Wednesday