How Celtic can cope without Tom Rogic during their Champions League qualifiers
Rogic was part of the Australia squad that got eliminated during the group stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia earlier this week. And Brendan Rodgers has now revealed that the 25-year-old will be allowed an extended break before he joins up with the Scottish champions ahead of the 2018/19 campaign.
“He’ll have two weeks off from now, so he’ll be back when we arrive home from the first leg. He’ll be back training on July 12.
“He won’t be playing in the first leg, it’s a long season for us and he’s just off the back of a World Cup. So, he’ll have two weeks free then come back fresh and ready for, hopefully, another exciting season,” Rodgers said, as quoted by the Daily Record.
Having joined the Scottish giants from Australian outfit Central Coast Mariners in the January window back in 2013, the 25-year-old endured a difficult start with the Bhoys. However, since the 2015/16 campaign, Rogic has grown into an important player at Parkhead.
Rogic had an impressive 2017/18 season for the Bhoys, as he chipped with 8 goals and 9 assists from 41 appearances across all competitions. He only recently signed a new five-year contract extension with the Hoops and his absence will be a downer for Celtic against Alashkert.
However, Rodgers’ men are more than equipped to deal with the setback and here are two players who could ideally take his spot as the No.10.
A player who was flourished boundlessly under the tutelage of Rodgers, McGregor will be a great choice to fill Rogic’s void. The 25-year-old netted 12 goals and set up eight more for the Scottish giants on their way to the historic treble in the 2017/18 campaign.
His ability to make a difference from numerous areas on the field makes him an asset for the Hoops. McGregor has the technique and the ability to create chances from the attacking midfield area and can contribute with goals as well. Last season, he provided one assist in four appearances in the UEFA Champions League qualifiers but this time, he must make a bigger impact.
Another option that Rodgers could look to call upon is Ryan Christie, who has just returned to the club after an 18-month loan spell at Aberdeen.
The 23-year-old recorded an impressive tally of 8 goals and 15 assists in 42 appearances for the Dons in the 2017/18 campaign. And while he did struggle for consistency, there is no doubt over his talent. Christie also featured in four Europa League qualifier games for Aberdeen last season, scoring and assisting two goals apiece, indicating that he can step up.
Thus, Rodgers could easily bank on the youngster to fill in for Rogic.