The next step for Sead Haksabanovic at Celtic as historical international clash beckons

By Hamish Carton

March 22, 2023

Believe it or not, Sead Haksabanovic only joined Celtic at the start of this season.

Despite weirdly feeling like he’s part of the furniture at the club under Ange Postecoglou, he only came on board after our league and cup double last season.

The winger can be classed as one of Postecoglou’s many good signings, despite struggling to hold down a starting spot so far in his Celtic career.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

As we told you yesterday, Haksabanovic is loving life at Celtic, and is well aware of the bigger picture too.

He netted two brilliant goals in recent weeks, despite starting neither of the matches against Hearts and Hibernian.

Haksabanovic has actually made just one start since football resumed after the World Cup in mid-December.

That came in the Scottish Cup tie at Tynecastle. He played the best part of an hour in that one before being replaced by Liel Abada.

The former Rubin Kazan man offered something in that fixture, but his threat didn’t seem to be quite as strong against fresher legs.

And that seems to be the next step for Haksabanovic at Celtic. He has to become a player who can nail down a regular starting berth, and hurt teams early on in matches as well as late.

That’s not to say that he doesn’t have that in his locker. Just before the World Cup, he started on successive Saturdays for Celtic, netting two crucial goals against Dundee United and the winner against Ross County.

He was named as the Premiership Player of the Month for November as a result. (SPFL)

He showed in that period that he could be a talisman for the club, viewed at the same level as someone like Jota.

It would be brilliant to see him reach his potential in the coming weeks and months.

Photo by Filip Filipovic/Getty Images

Right now though, Haksabanovic will only be focusing on playing for the Montenegro international team.

They kick-off their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign on Friday night with a trip to Bulgaria. Then on Monday night they host neighbours Serbia in what is sure to be a volatile fixture.

There is plenty of history between the countries. Their football teams were combined as Serbia and Montenegro until as late as the 2006 World Cup.

When they met in 2018, Montenegro goalkeeper Danijel Petkovic described the fixture as the biggest in the country’s history. (The Guardian)

So plenty for Haksabanovic to concern himself with before he sets the target of becoming a Celtic superstar.

In other news, Scott Brown may be more like Ange Postecoglou as a manager than many Celtic fans would expect