Former Scotland defender Alan Hutton has spoken out in praise of Celtic midfielder Tom Rogic, who has struggled for game-time this season.
Speaking to Football Insider, Hutton entertained the possibility that the Australian may want to leave Celtic if he continues to struggle for first team recognition under Neil Lennon but feels that the Hoops should keep him, citing his effectiveness in terms of goal involvements.
He told Football Insider that Rogic is a “very talented boy, scores goals, gets assists, gives a lot, he’s been hampered by injury but he is coming back.”
Hutton added: “It’s like Rangers, Celtic are very strong in those areas so it’s always going to be difficult breaking into the team, but it’s a good thing for the team. You want all your players fit and fighting for places, to push everyone on to do better, me personally I’d want to keep him.
“He has played recently, so it’s not like he’s not playing, he’s come in and done well, Lennon does chop and change so he’ll get game time.
“It comes down to whether he wants to be part of a rotation, be in and out, or does he want to play all the time? I would keep him as he’s a great player, technically gifted, and he’s an asset to have.”
Hutton is correct to bring up Rogic’s decent record in terms of scoring and creating chances for Celtic. The Australian has scored twice and set up another two goals in his 11 appearances so far this term (as per TransferMarkt).
His overall record since joining the Hoops stands at 37 goals and 31 assists in 178 matches, a return of one goal every 4.81 games and an assist every 5.74 games.
Hutton also rightly points out the huge strength that Celtic have in Rogic’s usual attacking midfield berth. Olivier Ntcham has taken up that position in recent games and scored in the midweek win at Hearts, while Ryan Christie is the Hoops’ leading scorer this season with 17 goals to his name.
Callum McGregor, another attacking midfielder at the club, is a firm favourite of Lennon, making 34 starts this term following today’s match against Aberdeen and playing more minutes than anyone else in the squad.
With Rogic playing just 14 minutes in the five matches Celtic have had since he started in the win over Ross County at the beginning of December, he has been struggling for recognition lately, as has been the case for most of the season having made just 11 appearances. [via TransferMarkt]
It’s understandable why Hutton feels the 27-year-old might seek a new challenge if he cannot break into the Celtic team more frequently, although his strong track record of goal involvements is indeed an asset to the Hoops, as the ex-Scotland defender stated.
Celtic fans, do you agree with Hutton’s views on Rogic? Have your say by commenting below!
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