Rodgers must improve this area: Three things learned about Celtic after victory v Rangers
By Will Butcher
Football Insider analyses three talking points from Celtic’s 5-1 win over Rangers at Ibrox in the sixth Old Firm derby of the season.
Central defender is needed in the summer
Dederyck Boyata’s increased importance in the side has made him first choice under Rodgers, but neither Jozo Simunovic or Erik Sviatchenko have managed to mirror his inspired form in the second half of the season. Simunovic was caught out by Martyn Waghorn at times, as well as diving in to a number of tackles that could be considered dangerous. The Croatian would get away with such tackles in the league, but with a Champions League campaign on the horizon next term, he needs to be more careful. Brendan Rodgers should enter the summer window to sign a new central defender in order to improve what he already has in Simunovic.
Sign Roberts whatever the price
Celtic must look to secure a permanent deal for winger Patrick Roberts and meet Manchester City’s valuation of the England youth international, whatever the price. The 20-year-old has blossomed into a winger that could play for the best sides in the English Premier League, as he continues to shine under Rodgers north of the border. His intelligence won the Hoops a penalty in the first half, as he waited for the inexperienced left-back Myles Beerman to dive in on him before touching the ball away and going down. His fleet-footed ability was a constant threat to the Gers all afternoon, as he terrorised Beerman at Ibrox before being substituted.
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Is future of Rogic in doubt?
Australia international Rogic was forced to watch from the substitutes bench once again on Saturday before coming on as a late substitute, as Callum McGregor’s rise to prominence continued with a fine goal that has seen him score twice in two Old Firm derbies within a week. With Stuart Armstrong also shining in a box-to-box midfield role, Rogic will find it difficult to regain his place in Rodgers’s side and that could tempt him to leave in the summer rather than stay and fight for his place with Armstrong and McGregor.