The interesting Celtic substitution on Saturday that's barely getting a mention

By David Walton

April 13, 2022

Everything about Celtic’s 7-0 win over St Johnstone on Saturday was perfect, and as such, it allowed minutes for a handful of substitutes.

Indeed, it was great to see Kyogo get some minutes on the pitch for the first time in 4 months. So too was it ideal to get Matt O’Riley on the pitch and scoring his first 2 goals at Celtic Park.

However, there was one substitution from Ange that will have raised a few eyebrows. James McCarthy coming on for Callum McGregor for the final 15 minutes was certainly an interesting one.

Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

Not because McCarthy doesn’t need the minutes of course. But because, alongside him was Yosuke Ideguchi, who ended the match as an unused sub. Ideguchi being a player who arrived in January and has yet to be given a chance in the first-team.

Whilst it’s become clear that we won’t see the best of Yosuke until next season, it looked as though this was a decent opportunity for him to experience Celtic Park. Especially with the game wrapped up by half-time. And had McCarthy not come on, it wouldn’t have raised even half the suspicion.

Ideguchi was set back with an injury picked up at Alloa. But the truth is he’s now been back and available for selection ever since the 3-2 win over Dundee in mid-February. Yet he’s only been given 3 league minutes over the last couple of months.

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Yosuke Ideguchi below James McCarthy in the Celtic pecking order?

It’s clearly not a training issue. Ange has already stated in the past that Ideguchi is the hardest worker at Lennoxtown. So evidently everything is going according to plan on that front.

In addition to that, we know McCarthy isn’t a good fit for what Ange is trying to build here. He slows the game down too often and needs too many touches to fit into Ange’s philosophy. If Celtic have any opportunity this summer to move him on, you can be they’ll take it.

But clearly something is stopping the manager from giving Ideguchi some more minutes. And that, right now, is a mystery for the Celtic supporters.

Photo by Kaz Photography/Getty Images

The decision not to bring on Ideguchi caught the attention of some supporters on Twitter post-match. However, there hasn’t been much coverage despite it being an interesting decision from the manager.

You have to imagine this is simply a case of waiting until pre-season to give Yosuke his big opportunity. But even so, you do wonder what the harm would be in giving him a few cameos.

Hopefully, we see a bit more of the Japanese international soon. There looks to be a player there, and the sooner we get some glimpses, the better.

In other news, Ange names 6 Celtic backup players who are producing “fantastic” levels at Lennoxtown