Brendan Rodgers has insisted that Celtic’s homegrown talent is the key to being successful in Scottish football with the club. The Irishman is now in his second spell as manager after a fantastic, trophy-laden spell the first time he arrived at Parkhead. That remarkable level that was shown first time around will have to be repeated if we are to maintain our grip domestically and make progress in European competition.
In his last tenure, the former Liverpool boss had the now captain, Callum McGregor, Scott Brown, James Forrest, Stuart Armstrong, Leigh Griffiths, Ryan Christie and Craig Gordon to call upon as his core. Those players all made valuable contributions to winning those back-to-back Trebles for the club and helped set a remarkable standard in Scottish football for others to aspire to.
This time around the boss still has Callum McGregor and James Forrest, along with a new crop of Scottish players to help aid his assault on the domestic scene, in tandem with competing on the continent. As well as seeing our own academy graduates in the side, the Irishman has said he is not averse to signing others from the Scottish market should the opportunity arise in the future.
“Having that identity is very important. If I worked in Spain I would want a Spanish core of players,” he said via Football Scotland. When I work in Scotland I want a Scottish core of players who understand what it’s about.
“I think you have to look at that moving forward because squad planning is important. We were anticipating there were some players who were going to move on who haven’t left the club. But there is no doubt that, in the future, squad management is very important. It is a big quality having that Scottish mentality around – players who know what it’s about, like Callum McGregor, Greg Taylor and James Forrest.”
When asked if he felt there was anyone playing in the Scottish Premiership currently that he thought could improve his options, he remarked: “I haven’t been back long enough this time. It was similar to when I first came up. I remember John McGinn being mentioned and a few others. There’s no doubt this is a brilliant country for producing players. Scotland has always produced top players. I was at the game the other night, and the team is fantastic. There are some top players there. Scotland always produces outstanding players. It’s about the opportunity for them.”