Paulo Bernardo could make his Celtic debut this weekend against Dundee.
The midfielder joined us on a season-long loan from Benfica on the final day of the summer window. He arrived as one of the last-gasp signings the club made after a relatively slow transfer period.
Bernardo didn’t make the matchday squad for the derby at Ibrox the weekend before last. Given that the fixture arrived less than two days after his move was confirmed, that was hardly a surprise.
“He’s had no football over the course of pre-season,” the Celtic manager explained. “We have to look at him. He’ll go away with the Portugal under-21s and hopefully get some game time and then come back and we’ll assess it from there.” (BBC Radio Scotland)
Since those comments, Bernardo has indeed gone away with the Portugal under-21s. He played the entirety of their 3-0 win over Andorra on Friday evening and is in line to feature again on Tuesday against Belarus.
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If he comes through that match in good health you would have to assume that he’d be in Rodgers’ plans for the visit of Dundee on Saturday.
For all of the good feeling around Celtic Park after our derby win, the midfield is still an area that we could do with some fresh impetus. Reo Hatate could bring that once he returns from injury. Bernardo is another who could provide the spark.
If you’re making the grave error of asking us for a weekend prediction, we reckon Bernardo will be in the matchday squad, potentially making his debut off the bench.
Amongst the crisis at centre-back and the need for a Jota replacement, his late move seemed to go a little under the radar. But we’re very excited about what he could bring to the party.
His second international clash gets underway at 2pm Celtic Park time on Tuesday.