It's time to see what Liam Shaw can do amidst Celtic injury crisis

By Euan Davidson

September 28, 2021

When Celtic signed Liam Shaw on a pre-contract deal, it came with a fair amount of hassle.

Not from the player himself, though. Shaw seems a committed, humble young man, who’s eager to make an impact at Celtic long-term.

But the months of speculation, threats of legal action from Sheffield Wednesday, and the reaction of their fans and favourites suggests it was a somewhat complicated move. It was certainly a protracted one.

After impressing in pre-season, Shaw has been spotted in match-day squads, but he’s yet to garner meaningful minutes for the first-team. But with something of an injury crisis at the club just now, it’d be a lift to see Shaw make an impact.

Callum McGregor is out for a little while yet, while McCarthy and Soro’s mixed performances have left supporters frustrated. This isn’t to say Shaw is some magic answer, but we’re missing the box-to-box dynamism of our captain.

So why not give Shaw, who exhibited those qualities for Sheffield Wednesday, and for Celtic in pre-season, an opportunity here? He’s played at a sufficient level to indicate he wouldn’t be overawed.

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Having impressed in the Championship with his technique, stamina and reading of the game, circumstances dictate that this would be an ideal time to see what he can do.

Is Liam Shaw ready to step up for Celtic?

We would also have some tactical flexibility, should Shaw make an impact.

Adept at playing either as a defensive midfielder or further up, he could facilitate a more well-rounded Bhoys midfield. When McGregor comes back, Shaw could anchor the defence, allowing the captain to play as an 8 rather than a 6.

That, then, means Rogic or Turnbull can focus almost solely on the attacking part of their game. It’s clear something needs a tweak, with Rogic and Turnbull both struggling to meet the demands of Postecoglou’s play.

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With games against Motherwell and Aberdeen coming up domestically [Celtic FC], and Celtic struggling to make much happen centrally, this could be a smart move. At the very least, it would give either Rogic or Turnbull some much-needed respite.

The duo are both purer number 10s than they are central midfielders, and they haven’t clicked entirely well together over a run of games. That’s something Postecoglou will have to look at with January ahead.

But for now, why not play one of the Championship’s young stars from last season? Especially with injury concerns and poor form destabilising our midfield play?

It’s time to give young Liam Shaw an opportunity.

Read more: Patryk Klimala explains why he barely got any game-time at Celtic

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