When new Celtic pair could make their Hoops debuts

By David Walton

August 3, 2021

New Celtic duo Joe Hart and James McCarthy officially put pen to paper this afternoon in a game-changer for the Hoops.

Hart has signed on a three-year deal whilst midfielder McCarthy has committed himself to Parkhead for four.

Now, all eyes will be on when both men could make their Celtic debuts and finally add some experience to the starting XI.

Scott McDonald joins 67HH for the Ange Postecoglou era

Scott McDonald joins 67HH for the Ange Postecoglou era

Celtic have managed to secure both before the Europa League registration deadline. Meaning both McCarthy and Hart can be added to the squad to face Jablonec.

Celtic appeared to confirm that Hart has travelled with the squad to the Czech Republic on Twitter today. But it’s a different story with McCarthy, who reportedly won’t travel with the group and will instead train on his own until his teammates return [Daily Mail].

That means that any likely debut for the Irishman would be this Sunday against Dundee at Celtic Park. As for Hart, a swift initiation against Jablonec in our Europa League qualifier in two days is looking likely.

Celtic to feel immediate benefit of double-signing

Hart has of course been with Tottenham Hotspur during their own pre-season campaign. Spurs’ season will kick-off against Arsenal on August 15th, meaning Hart should be pretty up to speed by now.

Given McCarthy’s contract with Crystal Palace ended in the summer, many will wonder about his own fitness levels. He hasn’t played a game of football since May.

However, he’s likely been training on his own and keeping his fitness levels up. So long as he gets some sessions in before Dundee, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be thrown in.

But finally there’s some competition in two key areas of the football pitch. Hart will immediately come in and be our number one, whilst McCarthy will also compete strongly for a place in this Celtic side.

It’s vital to have depth in the centre-midfield position and that’s what McCarthy brings. All of a sudden, it’s an area of the pitch Celtic look pretty comfortable in.

And there’s no reason for a bedding-in process to be necessary for either player. We could see both before the ink on their contracts are dry.

In other news, Celtic finally show some transfer urgency with Joe Hart and James McCarthy announcement