Celtic

Celtic: Tom Rogic’s return is crucial

Celtic: Tom Rogic’s return is crucial

Celtic finally put things right in Europe on Thursday night as they managed to secure a 2-0 victory over AIK in the play-off round of the competition. But, that wasn’t the only good news fans received as Tom Rogic has returned to full training (as reported in the Evening Times)

Rogic has been sidelined with both an ankle ligament injury and is recovering from knee surgery. The latter being as a result of an injury sustained during the Asian Cup in January. Unfortunately, Rogic wasn’t fit in time to return to action against AIK Stockholm in the Europa League play-off round.

In another season where Rangers will look to push Celtic close going off their form at the start of the season and a packed schedule with Europa League duties, Rogic could be crucial.

Here’s why…

Rogic can provide for Griffiths and Edouard

With Leigh Griffiths back and firing on all cylinders and Odsonne Edouard continuing his form from last season, perhaps Tom Rogic’s return could improve their stats even more. He produced nine assists in the 2017-18 season and added another six in the last campaign, despite only appearing in 35 games last season. Ryan Christie is the current incumbent of the attacking midfield role and he is performing it manfully, albeit in a different style to Rogic.

Lennon has no reason to drop Christie and shouldn’t think about it at all, but it’s a luxury for the Celtic boss to have both of them at his disposal. If Rogic manages to contribute as much as he has over the past couple of seasons (35 goals and 29 assists for the Hoops) then he will be a very useful player for Lennon, with Christie and Rogic possibly alternating or playing them together.

Celtic’s midfield will be more mobile

If Lennon brings Rogic back into the team he has a problem, who drops out? Well, Scott Brown should be the man.

You don’t lose the creativity of playing Christie deeper either. Christie, Olivier Ntcham and Callum McGregor have more than enough in their legs, with Chris Sutton stating (as per Daily Record) that Christie makes up for the traits he lacks in Rogic’s case with his work rate and speed.

Rogic has aspects to his game no one at the club has. His ability to manipulate the ball and take it on the half-turn to get the team going at opposition, which is something that Sutton has also alluded to (as per Daily Record), really gets them running at the opposition.

Lennon will have a difficult decision when Rogic returns to the matchday squad, but he will surely be delighted to have an experienced player back in the side (167 appearances for Celtic).

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