Celtic attacking midfielder Tom Rogic has made a significant step in his recovery from injury by returning to training with the Hoops’ first team squad.
Video Celts reported that the 26-year-old was spotted training with his team-mates at Lennoxtown this morning, having been ruled out of their pre-season programme.
According to Video Celts, there were hopes that a summer with no international duty would help to accelerate Rogic’s recovery but he hadn’t made it in time for the start of the season.
Rogic, who joined Celtic in January 2013 from Central Coast Mariners in his homeland, is the Hoops’ third longest-serving player after Scott Brown and James Forrest.
He has been a regular presence in Celtic’s line-up over the last four years, making 20 or more Premiership appearances in every season since 2015/16.
However, in the attacking midfielder’s absence, Ryan Christie has stepped up brilliantly, with the 24-year-old scoring eight goals in his first nine matches this season (one per 1.12 games) and also chipping in with three assists (one per three games).
Callum McGregor has not been as prolific in the early weeks of the campaign, with two goals and an assist from eight appearances, although he ended last season with six goals and 16 assists in 59 matches, averaging a goal per 9.83 games and an assist per 3.68 games.
All three players featured regularly for Celtic in the Europa League last season and Rogic had the lowest passing success rate with 76.5% compared to McGregor’s 87.1% and Christie’s 82.5%, but the Australia midfielder had the most shots per game with 2.5 – McGregor averaged 1.1 and Christie 0.9 (via WhoScored).
The form being shown by Christie is likely to make him an automatic starter as long as he is available, but Rogic could justifiably have his sights set on overtaking McGregor in the pecking order once he gets back to full fitness after having a better scoring ratio than him in 2018/19.
The Australia midfielder, who is due to get married next month during the international break according to the Daily Record, should give Neil Lennon a selection dilemma when he is fit enough for gametime.
While his scoring ratio last season wasn’t as high as what McGregor and Christie have had so far this term, the 26-year-old could still offer a consistent scoring and creativity threat in 2019/20 if either of Celtic’s other attacking midfielders were unavailable.
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