Neil Lennon will be very concerned if Celtic pair Mohamed Elyounoussi and Kristoffer Ajer have to self isolate for 10 days after returning from international duty, according to Noel Whelan.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the former Aberdeen and Leeds forward called on Celtic’s fringe players to step up if the Norwegian pair are to miss games.
Elyounoussi and Ajer returned to Scotland on Sunday after Norway’s Nations League game against Romania was postponed following Omar Elabdellaoui testing positive for coronavirus.
Norweigan law allowed the pair to travel back but requires them to now self isolate for 10 days upon their return.
Sky Sports report the Hoops are “hopeful” they will not need to isolate as they did not come into close contact with Elabdellaoui and have returned multiple negative tests.
“It will be a big problem for Neil Lennon,” Whelan told Football Insider. “With Rodrigo at Leeds and Mohamed Salah at Liverpool this is what is going to happen now.
“Big teams are going to have to cope with it and they can cope with it better than your Dundee United’s and your smaller clubs because they’ve got smaller squads.
“It will be worrying for them because they’re big players in his set up but also it gives a big opportunity for the fringe players and the players that have been on the bench to come into that position and claim it as their own.
“That’s what keeps the squad going, it’s that competitiveness and hunger and desire to be playing regularly week in, week out. Other players should see this an opportunity.
“I’m sure Neil Lennon will say to players ‘this is your opportunity, here you go, it’s in unfortunate circumstances but this is your time to show you deserve to be in the team.”
In other Celtic news, the Hoops have been tipped to complete an “easy” signing after January fee reveal.