Three Celtic players we could see more of under Ange in 2022/23
With summer transfer activity already well underway in Scottish football, it may be easy to get caught up in all the speculation and forget the current players Celtic have on the books of the club.
Outgoings are expected, as several fringe players get set to walk through the Parkhead exit door. Nevertheless, this may pave the way for more opportunities to be granted to players who remain beyond this window.
Celtic Now and Forever takes a look at three players that could be more frequently used by Ange Postecoglou in the new campaign.
Yosuke Ideguchi was brought in by Ange Postecoglou earlier this year, costing around £684k from J1 League side Gamba Osaka. Despite his evident quality, the 25-year-old has mustered just two appearances for the Hoops.
Unfortunately, in his debut against Alloa Athletic in the Scottish Cup in January, he suffered a fairly serious injury which curtailed his chances of making a sustained impact at Parkhead in 2021/22.
Now seemingly free from injury troubles, the anchorman could be set to become an important contributor going into 2022/23. Ange Postecoglou has previously alluded to the midfielder having a long-term future at Celtic, which will present opportunities for Ideguchi providing that he impresses at pre-season training.
Given the recent departures of fellow midfielders Tom Rogic and Nir Bitton, now may be the perfect opening for Ideguchi to work his way into being a regular starter for Celtic in the coming months.
Fair enough, many readers will be wondering why James Forrest has been included in this list. One of the few Celtic veterans at the club, the Scotland international has been present in every Celtic squad since 2009/10, winning 20 trophies along the way.
Despite this, he had endured a couple of injury-ravaged seasons at Celtic, making just 49 appearances in all competitions since the start of 2020/21. Recently, the winger was handed a new deal by Ange Postecoglou, tying him to the Hoops until the summer of 2025.
Though he is likely to be nothing more than a squad player going forward, Forrest will at times be relied upon to come into the side and chip in with goals and assists at various points over the next few years. At 30 years of age, hopefully, the one-club man can get back to some level of consistency and steer clear of fitness issues.
Brought in as a free agent last summer, the Republic of Ireland international arrived in Glasgow with a big reputation and expectation on his shoulders that he could become a key man under Ange Postecoglou.
Unfortunately, this train of thought hasn’t transpired so far. In 2021/22, the 31-year-old midfielder managed just 22 appearances in all competitions due to injury problems. Whether McCarthy can fill the void in the middle of the park left by Nir Bitton and Tom Rogic remains to be seen, however, he may find himself gaining more opportunities next campaign due to the dearth of numbers in his position.
He is contracted to Celtic until 2025, making it unlikely that he would be shipped out by Ange Postecoglou any time soon. Possessing plenty of Premier League experience, a good pre-season period will be pivotal for his chances of playing a role at his boyhood club as the Hoops get set for the 2022/23 season.