The 3 players set for a bigger Celtic role than we've seen so far

By Lewis Laird

September 22, 2022

We are only a matter of days into the September international break, but as always, the question on people’s lips is how long until Celtic are back?

The Bhoys have been on an incredible run of form on the domestic front, winning their first seven games in the Scottish Premiership and Premier Sports cup.

However, last Sunday, that run of form, along with a 38-game unbeaten league run, came to an end in a 2-0 defeat against St Mirren.

After a defeat and performance like that, you can imagine Ange Postecoglou and his squad would have been desperate to get back out and rectify that.

However, unfortunately for the Hoops, an international break followed, with 13 members of the Celtic squad heading off to join their nations.

Across the next week or so, members of Postecoglou’s squad will have time to reflect upon that result, and I am sure it is one they will want to forget in a hurry.

But, there is plenty for the players and the Celtic manager to learn from Sunday before our return to domestic action on the 1st of October.

When the Bhoys do return, it is going to be a busy period of fixtures, with nine games in 30 days during October. So, the 57-year-old will be looking to fully maximise his Celtic squad in the coming months.

Whilst regular members of Postecoglou’s starting 11, such as Callum McGregor and Jota, are bound to play a big part, there could also be other Celtic stars who will likely be playing their biggest role since their arrival at the club.

We take a closer look at three players who could be set for a bigger role during the months of October and November.

Oliver Abildgaard 

Photo by Lars Ronbog / FrontZoneSport via Getty Images

Abildgaard arrived on summer deadline day from Rubin Kazan with a big reputation and is expected to be the man to fill the defensive midfield position.

However, despite joining at the beginning of this month, we are still waiting to catch our first glimpse of the Danish internationalist as he builds up his fitness.

For me, there is no doubting that we are going to see the midfielder play a bigger role upon the return of domestic football at the start of October.

The international break could prove to be an important period for Abildgaard as he builds up his fitness in time for Celtic’s Scottish Premiership fixture against Motherwell.

Alexandro Bernabei

Potentially a surprise option – but I believe that following this month’s international break, we could start to see more of the full-back.

Photo by PressFocus/MB Media/Getty Images

Having only made one start and a handful of appearances off the bench, he has failed to break into the side ahead of the impressive Greg Taylor.

However, with the fixture schedule being pretty hectic over the next two months, the Scotland internationalist can’t play every game. So rotation at left-back is bound to take place.

Whilst Bernabei is yet to prove if he is worthy of more minutes, the only way we are going to determine that is by seeing him on the park, and those opportunities may come within the next few weeks.

Sead Haksabanovic

Haksabanovic may have already been handed his first start by Ange Postecoglou, but I think it’s fair to say there is still even more to come from the winger.

The former West Ham man will have time to continue to improve his fitness whilst he is away with Montenegro, which may allow the Celtic boss to utilise him for more than 45 minutes.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

The attacker has looked a threat in his short cameos for the Hoops, so once he hits full stride, Haksabanovic is bound to be a threat that all Scottish Premiership backlines will be fearing.

Rotating between Jota, Daizen Maeda and Abada, the former Socceroos boss has plenty of quality options in forward areas to choose from.

Once again, Haksabanovic offers something different to all three with his dangerous ability to drive toward defenders at pace, and I cannot wait to see him at full tilt.

Although some Celtic fans are bound to be a bit concerned when large rotation comes again at some point this season, there is still the need for Ange Postecoglou to use his squad with so many games on the horizon.

Hopefully, these three Celtic stars can step up and play a bigger role in the next few months. If so, the squad will continue to look in excellent shape.

In other news, Aaron Hickey reflects on turning down contract at ‘boyhood club’ Celtic.