Abada injury opens door for the impressive Yang

David Turnbull had started 33 of Celtics opening 34 games in Ange Postecoglou’s first season at Celtic and was seemingly undroppable due to his good form.

However, a subsequent hamstring injury picked up in Celtic’s League Cup final win over Hibernian altered the course of Turnbull’s season, as he started just two out of eight games when fit for selection again.

19th December 2021; Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland; Scottish League Cup final, Hibernian versus Celtic: David Turnbull of Celtic pulls up with an injury and is checked over by Celtic medical staff

Matt O’Riley and Reo Hatate were brought in that January following his injury and Turnbull would sit behind the pair in the pecking order for the remainder of Postecoglou’s reign at Celtic.

With news Liel Abada picked up a muscular injury on international duty with Israel, could a similar situation occur where new signing Hyun-jun Yang could come in and replace the Israeli in the starting lineup? I certainly wouldn’t rule it out.

In a mixed window for Celtic, the South Korean international has been the shining light in terms of new signings so far in Rodgers second stint at the club. Coming off the back of making his international debut against Wales at the weekend, the 21-year-old will return to Glasgow full of confidence.

Celtic FC v Athletic Club – Pre-Season Friendly Hyun-Jun Yang of Celtic FC in action during the pre-season friendly match between Celtic FC and Athletic Club at Celtic Park on August 1, 2023, Photo Ricardo Larreina

Yang has showed glimpses of Jota-esque quality so far in a hoops shirt, that skilful assist at Pittodrie comes to mind. And the comparisons to the former Portuguese Celtic cult-hero are not completely wide off the mark.

His unpredictability on the ball accompanied by his direct running have both contributed to such comparisons. His Celtic career up to this point has been certainly impressive, but the limelight will shine further on the skilful winger in the coming weeks as he sees further minutes.

Whether he can replace Liel Abada totally in Rodgers starting eleven is unknown, but certainly don’t write him off.

James French

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