By Emma Sanders

Brendan Rodgers has revealed he is excited to see Gary Mackay-Steven play after the winger returned to the squad for Celtic’s 3-0 victory against Aberdeen in the Betfred Cup final on Sunday.

Mackay-Steven has not been involved in Celtic’s bright start to the Scottish Premiership because of injury.

The 26-year-old has struggled to get over a knee injury in the opening months of the campaign but is in line to make a return to action in December as Celtic embark on a busy run of fixtures.

Talking in the Daily Record, Rodgers has said he is eager to see him back in action and has claimed he is an important member of the squad because he provides competition for places.

“Gary Mackay-Steven is up to speed and I’m looking forward to seeing him play,” Rodgers said. “James Forrest, Scott Sinclair and Patrick Roberts have been playing well so it was difficult to get a chance.

“Him [Mackay-Steven,] Ryan Christie, Liam Henderson, Gamboa, all working hard but haven’t had a lot of game time. But they are so important. For us to be at our best, the players who aren’t playing need to be at their best.”

The midfielder joined Celtic in February 2015 and made 38 appearances during his opening 18 months, scoring eight goals.

He was an important player for Dundee United before he made the switch to the Scottish league leaders and is expected to make his first start under Rodgers in the next few weeks.

Celtic currently hold an eight point lead over Hearts in the league table but still have three games in hand and have already picked up one piece of silverware this season.

In other Celtic news, the club are preparing to fend off a £10million bid for this striker.