When Carl Starfelt could make his Celtic debut

By David Walton

July 21, 2021

Carl Starfelt is officially a Celtic player, and all eyes now will be on when he’ll be making his debut.

The Hoops announced the arrival of the Rubin Kazan centre-back on a four-year deal, subject to international clearance today.

It’s a massive boost for the club after the departure of Kristoffer Ajer earlier this evening. The Hoops now finally have a reliable centre-back who can slot into the first team without any questions about his commitment.

However, Celtic have stated that Starfelt will be subject to the standard quarantine protocols. Meaning that there will effectively be no special dispensation.

Under the current guidelines, those arriving from Russia to Scotland must self-isolate for 10 days. This is for those who have not been fully vaccinated in the United Kingdom [Gov.Scot]

The unbridled joy of being back at Celtic Park

Assuming Starfelt arrived either on Monday or yesterday, his isolation period would be up immediately before our first Premiership match against Hearts at Tynecastle.

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No likely immediate debut for Carl Starfelt at Celtic

Of course, it could be different to an extent if Starfelt is isolating in England. Under the Test to Release scheme down south, he could be released on day six should he test negative on day 5 [Gov.uk].

Looking ahead for now though, Starfelt would still likely make his debut several days afterwar Hearts in Europe or against Dundee on August 7th.

By that point, the Sweden international will have trained with his new teammates and gotten used to his environment.

Photo by Yegor AleyevTASS via Getty Images

That means that, for the match against the Jambos on July 31st, Celtic will likely have to go with Stephen Welsh and Nir Bitton. Christopher Jullien, meanwhile, is still sidelined.

Thankfully, Starfelt has been a regular for Kazan in pre-season. Therefore, it shouldn’t take him much time if any to get up to speed. Rubin’s first league game of their own campaign comes on Saturday. So he would’ve been preparing to be fit for that one.

It should mean he’s ready to go immediately when he comes out of his quarantine period. For now, however, Celtic fans will simply be delighted to get the deal over the line.

In other news: Ange Postecoglou explains why Celtic have signed Carl Starfelt