New Celtic signing Nat Phillips has already been training at Lennoxtown as this weekend’s derby at Ibrox looms.
Phillips was announced as a Celtic player on Thursday, joining on loan from Liverpool until January. His arrival is much needed given the current defensive injuries to Cameron Carter-Vickers, Maik Nawrocki and Stephen Welsh.
Gustaf Lagerbielke and Liam Scales started together in the 0-0 draw with St. Johnstone on Saturday but there is a feeling that the latter could be exposed against Rangers.
Speaking on Thursday, Lagerbielke himself revealed that Phillips had taken part in training earlier in the day.
“I’ve spoken to him and he was in training today also,” the Swede said. (Celtic YouTube channel)
“He looked like a great player and has played for good clubs and has a good history. I look forward to getting to know him as a player and a person.
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“Every player wants to play. I think it’s just good to have competition to keep everyone on their toes and get better ever day to try and get that starting position.”
Celtic didn’t officially announce Phillips until 4pm on Thursday so he would have been training without the deal having been confirmed.
That suggests that the club are extremely keen to get him up to speed, perhaps with a view to throwing him in to the heat of battle at the home of our rivals. The big question remaining is whether Brendan Rodgers will decide to put him out there at Ibrox.
Phillips hasn’t been making Liverpool match day squads this season so it’s not totally clear what condition he is in.
Starting him in the derby would clearly be a big risk but it may be the best option we have right now.
The way things are going, he may not be the only new Celt featuring on Sunday.