'Accident waiting to happen' - BBC commentator identifies one flaw in Rodgers rebuilding job at Celtic
By Harry Sykes
BBC Scotland commentator Bill Leckie has hailed Brendan Rodgers for his Celtic rebuilding job – but insisted his failure to sign a dominant centre-back is the “one flaw”.
Writing in the Scottish Sun, Leckie explained that the problem has been highlighted after midfielder Nir Bitton was handed the role of emergency defender in the early weeks of the season.
But the journalist and broadcaster insisted that senior centre-backs Jozo Simunovic, Dedryk Boyata and Erik Sviatchenko are not of the required calibre.
Leckie claimed the backline is an “accident waiting to happen” and is convinced the issue will be exacerbated in the Champions League.
“Rodgers has been hugely impressive in the way he’s fed new signings into his Celtic side,” Leckie wrote in a Scottish Sun column. “And for me, he’s been even more so in the way he’s improved so many of the players he inherited 14 months ago.
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“But there’s one flaw in his rebuilding job — a failure to bring in a truly dominant centre-half.
“Even with Jozo Simunovic and Erik Sviatchenko in tandem, the back line was the weakest part of the side.
“Now, with the latter injured and midfielder Nir Bitton filling in, they look an accident waiting to happen.
‘He’s had the breathing space and the finances to bring in much better. Why he’s not mystifies me because, 50 domestic games unbeaten or not, the true test comes in Europe and it’s clear for all to see how desperate they are to pass it.”
Celtic host FC Astanta in the first leg of their Champions League qualification play-off on Wednesday at Parkhead.
They have begun the season solidly, with wins in each of their first two Scottish Premiership fixtures, and have also overcome Norwegian side Rosenborg in a tricky Champions League tie.
In other Celtic transfer news, Football Insider has revealed the Hoops are in the hunt to sign a dazzling attacking midfielder as late window interest to reach fever pitch.