Former Scotland defender Alan Hutton has urged Celtic left-back Greg Taylor to make the most of any first team opportunities he gets in the coming weeks.
Hoops manager Neil Lennon confirmed prior to tonight’s Europa League game against Rennes that the 22-year-old is “ready to play” (as per @CelticFC on Twitter), with fellow left-back Boli Bolingoli injured (as per Video Celts).
Jonny Hayes, who started at left-back against Livingston last weekend, went off with a dislocated shoulder in that game and was replaced by Taylor, who has made just two Celtic appearances since joining from Kilmarnock nearly three months ago.
The 34-year-old said: “They’re quite heavily loaded in the left-back area and obviously Jonny Hayes has come in and done well. It’s not nice to see your fellow professional get injured but sometimes that’s the opportunity you need.
“He’s got a chance now, it’s a very busy period for Celtic so there’s going to be lots of game time and lots of opportunities for him to go and prove his worth.
“He’s done brilliant at Kilmarnock, he’s made the move to Celtic so he’ll be bursting to show everybody what he’s capable of.”
Hutton is right to encourage Taylor to grasp his opportunity to nail down a more regular starting berth at left-back for Celtic.
Kade Kistner of The Celtic Bhoys felt that Taylor “did his job admirably” on his Hoops debut that night, saying that he “had some good runs on balls, and with some extra minutes under his belt he could prove to be a great pick up”.
While he hasn’t had much chance to show what he can do for his club, he played the entirety of Scotland’s recent Euro 2020 qualifiers against Cyprus and Kazakhstan, with an assist in both games suggesting that he could be a fruitful creative presence if given a sustained chance by Lennon at Celtic.
However, as Hutton has said, now is Taylor’s chance to shine, with the manager stating that Bolingoli “isn’t a million miles away” from returning to the first team squad, as per Video Celts.
The match against Rennes is the first of 10 that Celtic will play between now and December 29th, so there are plenty of opportunities for Taylor to impress his manager, as Hutton has rightly pointed out.
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