COMMENT By Will Butcher
Brendan Rodgers will have taken a huge amount of positives from Celtic’s crushing 5-0 victory over Kilmarnock in the Betfred Cup on Tuesday night.
Here, Football Insider examines three things we learned about Rodgers’ 48-time Scottish Champions, including how a 19-year-old should be offloaded on loan this summer:
Could Tierney be used elsewhere, other than left-back?
The 20-year-old showed just how effective he is in a Celtic shirt with a dominant display against Lee McCulloch’s side, that saw him dictate the game from his unnatural position of centre-back. The Scotland international usually plies his trade from left-back, but showed aerial prowess, strength and defensive intelligence alongside teenager Kristoffer Ajer to keep their Scottish Premiership opponents at bay. Tierney also found the back of the net with a magnificent long-range effort that flew into the top corner and provided an assist for Leigh Griffiths, showing technical abilities expected of a midfielder. With centre-back already integrated into his repertoire, Tierney should also be given a chance in the middle of the park as his footballing intelligence and technical ability matches those who currently play in midfield at Parkhead.
Griffiths over Dembele
Griffiths showed again just how crucial he is to Celtic with another two goals before being withdrawn just after the hour mark, taking his season tally to four goals in four games, with all four strikes coming in the last two outings. Smashing home a penalty to give Celtic the lead, the talismanic striker than latched on to a pass from the gifted Tierney to slide the ball home past goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald. With Moussa Dembele still sidelined, the Frenchman should now find himself on the substitutes’ bench due to the form of Griffiths.
Kouassi needs game time
Kouassi Eboue, 19, started the match against Killie in the middle of the park, just his second start from the off in Celtic colours since joining the club in January from Russian side Krasnodar. However, it was more disappointment for the midfielder, as he was withdrawn and replaced by Oliver Ntcham in the 40th minute after suffering what looked to be a knee injury after landing awkwardly. If he is fit enough to return before the end of the transfer window, Rodgers must look to send the Ivorian out on loan in order to give him game time, with Ntcham, Scott Brown, Callum McGregor, Stuart Armstrong and other options ahead of him in the pecking order.
In other Celtic news, Kris Commons has revealed Rodgers threatened to sack his Hoops stars.