Brendan Rodgers called for Celtic signings in the last week of the summer transfer window and he got three of them – Luis Palma, Nat Phillips and Paulo Bernardo.
Strengthening the attack, midfield and defence, hopes are high for the trio who arrive at a difficult time for the Bhoys and who face a daunting trip to Ibrox to face Rangers today.
It’s unclear how many, if any, of them will make their debut in the first Scottish Premiership derby, but Rodgers sounds excited about what they can offer over the coming weeks and months.
On Palma, the Celtic boss said in his pre-match press conference: “Luis was someone we were looking to bring in for the attacking front of the game. He’s an exciting player, who is very good in the 1v1 situation. He works hard and he’s quick, but we still feel that there’s a lot of potential there. We’re really excited about being able to work with him.”
And on Phillips, Rodgers reckons he brings some much-needed experience to that defensive line, stating [Daily Record]: “The red alert for us was the centre-half position. That was a challenge for us. Hopefully being able to bring in a player with big game experience and big club experience will prove certainly for me gives me a greater reassurance in that area especially with the likes of Cam being out. We’ve got young players but there you always need to have that experience there to help those players through.”
From the Celtic boss’ comments, Bernardo sounds the least ready to be thrown into the action, saying [Daily Record]: “Bernardo is a young player who is coming in with potential. He comes in with the opportunity for us to see him and give us more strength in the midfield areas.”
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Given the near-emergency situation in the centre of defence, Phillips looks the most likely to start at Ibrox. He was spotted in Celtic training on Friday, so has gotten to know his teammates to some degree and is surely a stronger option than Liam Scales.
Palma is a strong candidate to come off the bench in the second half and freshen up the attack, if it’s needed. Like Phillips, he was also pictured in training late last week. All eyes are now on Rodgers’ team announcement in the next hour.