Brendan Rodgers identifies “complete package” Celtic will pursue in January transfer window as switch involving two players considered
The long-term injury absence of Reo Hatate - not expected to return from a thigh problem until the new year - has resulted in him switching between David Turnbull, Paolo Bernardo, Odin Thiago Holm and Tomoki Iwata to operate alongside Callum McGregor and Matt O’Riley.
None of the available options has provided him with everything he seeks from one of his three personnel in the central areas. And speaking as he prepares his team for the visit of Hibs on Wednesday evening, the Irishman intimated the hectic programme across the next month will see him give consideration to pushing McGregor forward from his deep-lying berth and utlising in that role an Iwata yet to start a game this season.
“[Midfield is] one of the areas I want to improve in the team. What we have is, we’ve David, whose strengths - with the greatest of respects - are to play against low blocks when we’re trying to nick a goal. Getting around the pitch is maybe not a strength. When you go into Champions League games you need that ability to run. So, then Paolo has played in those games. It’s finding that sort of complete package, really. Callum has played in that deeper role for a few years but [moving him forward] is something I’ve thought about. Tomo would’ve played in Lazio if he was available, but sadly he missed out [through not being on the UEFA squad list].”
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