Sead Haksabanovic’s role as an impact substitute has definitely caught the eye of Celtic supporters recently and it’s one the player himself is enjoying too.
The Montenegrin international joined the Bhoys during last summer’s transfer window and has gone on to make 30 appearances for the club. However, just ten of them have come as part of a starting line-up. He’s not yet been able to establish himself as a consistent presence in Ange Postecoglou’s eleven.
Nonetheless, he’s doing his bit. Against Hibernian on Saturday he netted his fifth goal of the season and his second in ten days, having scored an almost identical effort against Hearts earlier this month. And there’s absolutely no sign that Haksabanovic is unsettled performing his squad role.
Haksabanovic delighted with debut season at Celtic
He said [The Herald]: “We have such a big squad. We can put any player out there and they will do well. It doesn’t matter if we start or come from the bench, we all want to play and want to show the manager we want to play and help the team.
“I concentrate on trying to score or assist. That’s my game, that’s what I want to do. I was very happy to score at home. I haven’t scored in an away game yet, but hopefully that will come. I’m enjoying myself here in front of our fans.
“Strikers get more opportunities here than they did at my last clubs. We play in a way our strikers can get more chances to go one against one and do the stuff we like. I’m enjoying the time here. I love the way we play so I’d say for a striker like me it is very good to be here.”
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It’s still achievable for Haksabanovic to hit the double figures mark by the end of the season if he stays fit and plugged in, as he is currently. He’s a significant weapon to unleash against tired and beleaguered defences who have been pressed by the likes of Daizen Maeda for most of a match.
Clearly, he is happy to put the team before himself as an individual, too – a trait we know that Postecoglou values in his squad players. Over time, he could even have the quality to become a consistent force from the start of matches, but the jury is still out on all that.
In other news, Celtic’s welcome Rocco Vata boost that went under the radar.