Brendan Rodgers makes worrying claim about €8.5m Celtic duo

Atletico Madrid v Celtic FC: Group E - UEFA Champions League 2023/24
Atletico Madrid v Celtic FC: Group E - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

Celtic fans were left disappointed in the summer with the transfer signings that the Hoops made. And a few months on, it is safe to say that those feelings have not really changed. Luis Palma is the only one who has made a consistent impact on the starting XI. Other than that, the rest are struggling to get into the team.

Two key signings in the summer were Maik Nawrocki and Gustaf Lagerbielke. The Polish centre-back was brought in from Legia Warsaw for a transfer fee believed to be around €5 million. On the other hand, the Swedish international was signed for a figure of around €3.5 million.

Both got runs in the starting XI upon arriving. But as the season has progressed, they have slipped down the pecking order.

So much so that neither Nawrocki nor Lagerbielke made the bench in the game against St Johnstone. Nat Phillips, who is on loan from Liverpool for just the first half of the season and will most likely return to Anfield in January, was one of the substitutes ahead of the €8.5 million duo.

Rodgers makes worrying claim about €8.5m Celtic duo

As reported by the Daily Record, Brendan Rodgers said when asked about Nawrocki and Lagerbielke:

"It's clear our squad is quite big so there's been players ahead of them. Unfortunately for the likes of Maik and Gustaf, Scales came into the team and really took his opportunity. We've got Nat Phillips who has been a great positive influence since he's been here.

"It's the one area of the team that you don't necessarily want to change too much, especially when both players are fit. It's all about the two players who are playing. For any player, it's all about what they do in training and that's all they can do. You can't get too disappointed, if you're working hard then hopefully those opportunities come for you."

It is safe to say that Nawrocki and Lagerbielke do not seem to have key roles in Rodgers' plans at this point in time. Cameron Carter-Vickers and Liam Scales appear to be the established duo in the heart of defence and for their part, they have done a decent job. So, it is hard to see either being dropped anytime soon.

Naturally, one has to wonder where the playing time is going to come for Lagerbielke and Nawrocki. Phillips leaving in January might open up some minutes. But even that would not be sufficient for both of them.