New signing Celtic signing Aaron Mooy may not find full fitness for ‘two or three months’ this season, according to injury expert Ben Dinnery.
The Lowdown: Mooy replaces compatriot Rogic
The Australian has arrived as an important summer signing for the Hoops, joining on a free transfer after his time at Chinese side Shanghai Port came to an end.
Mooy comes in as a direct replacement for compatriot Tom Rogic, who departed Parkhead at the end of last season, following nine years at the club.
While Mooy is a key player ahead of the new Scottish Premiership campaign, which kicks off for the Hoops against Aberdeen on Sunday, it may be that Celtic fans don’t see the best of him for a while.
The Latest: Expert delivers potential blow
“It’s going to be difficult. His last five appearances have all been for Australia. He hasn’t played domestically since January.
“He is a guy who, from the outside, looks like he keeps himself relatively fit. But over the last four years, he has averaged only around 1000 minutes of football per season.
“To transition from that to being expected to play two or three times per week for Celtic, it’s unrealistic initially. If you want to perform optimally and stay fully fit, you don’t want to throw him in.
“Fatigue is one the biggest risk factors. He will be managed very carefully and it could take two or three months before he is able to consistently perform.”
The Verdict: Worrying?
Mooy is an impressive player who has excelled both in the Premier League and for his country – he has made 96 appearances in England’s top division – being hailed as ‘amazing’ by Australia manager Graham Arnold after the Socceroos qualified for the 2022 World Cup.
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He will be a key man in the title race after filling the void left by Rogic and if he struggles to fire straight away it could give a possible early advantage to Rangers.
The hope is that Mooy doesn’t take long to show match sharpness, slotting into the team seamlessly, but Ange Postecoglou needs to manage him sensibly.
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