Neil Lennon has lauded the ability and importance of Tom Rogic to Celtic after he almost sold him during the summer window.
Rogic looked set to depart in the summer after a potential move to Qatar emerged. However, the Aussie rejected the chance and found himself remaining at Lennoxtown beyond the end of the transfer window (The Herald).
In recent weeks, Lennon has been keen to get him back involved in the first-team too. Rogic made his first appearance of the season against St Johnstone last month, and has featured in every Celtic game since as he looks to put his injury woes behind him.
And Lennon opened up on his influence as admitted he’s trying to keep the Wizard of Oz motivated this term after four assists in two games against Aberdeen.
As quoted by the Glasgow Times, Lennon said: “He is a class player and we have to manage him with his knee and ankle.
“But he has always played well against Aberdeen and his vision and quality on the ball and football intelligence just gives you a different dimension to the way you want to play.
“He is just a class football player and we just want to keep him motivated and injury-free if we can because he is such a massive player for us.”
Rogic should never be out the team
Celtic may be blessed with flair players this season, but there’s no denying that, when fit and on his game, Rogic is perhaps the best of them all.
It hasn’t actually been mentioned too much, but Rogic now has four assists in his last two games alone. Yes, he has a habit of showing up against Aberdeen, but his form has a lot more to do with it than just fate.
The truth is that Rogic can just do things that others can’t. He has a level of vision that is unmatched by anyone in Scotland, and the fact Celtic have now managed to feature him for six games straight without another injury blow is huge.
Even more excitingly is that Lennon has managed to find a system that can accommodate both Rogic and Ryan Christie. That wasn’t possible with the 3-5-2 system, but with Christie starting to look the part operating on the right side, Celtic may have found their perfect formula.
Of course, we’ve learned by now to never get overly-excited by Rogic’s form. We’ve been there before only for him to pick up another long-term injury blow.
But Celtic seem more aware of this than they ever have been. That can only be a good thing as Lennon looks to manage one of his top talents back to full-fitness.