Brendan Rodgers explains how Yang Hyun-jun's red card helped Celtic

SS Lazio v Celtic FC: Group E - UEFA Champions League 2023/24
SS Lazio v Celtic FC: Group E - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 / Ivan Romano/GettyImages

Celtic had the chance to go top of the table against Hearts earlier this month. The game had started well for the Hoops as well. They had won an early penalty, but unfortunately, Adam Idah failed to convert from the spot. And then things went completely south when Yang Hyun-jun was sent off in the 16th minute.

Brendan Rodgers' side never managed to recover. In the end, they lost 2-0 against Hearts and missed their opportunity to return to the top of the Premiership table.

Yang was subsequently handed a two-match ban as well. He has already served it and will be back in contention after the international break.

In his absence, Nicolas Kuhn was brought into the side. The German winger had been struggling for game time after his January arrival but he was immensely impressive in the previous two games. And they have increased Rodgers' options on the flanks, now that Yang is also available once again. As reported by the Daily Record, the Celtic manager said:

"I can see his progress. He did great against Dundee and he has been progressing every day in training.

“We spoke to him (after the red card). It wasn’t his fault, it was unfortunate and sadly he has missed a couple of games. He will be back and feeling great and if anything it gave us the opportunity to put Nicolas Kuhn in aswell.

“Now he looks like he has come onto his game and looking stronger. He looks a different player in training now. It’s been a great opportunity for him.

“So, if nothing else, after those couple of games what we gained from that is game time for Nicolas who has shown up really well, then Yang comes back and we have two really good players for that position.

“He (Yang) has been working on his overall game, his understanding out on the field. His analysis behind the scenes. Getting his upper body strength because it’s a physical game here and in Europe.

“Whatever league you are in in Britain it’s a physically demanding league. He has just grown throughout the season and it’s so good to see."

Rodgers explains how Yang's red card helped Celtic

The progress in Yang's game has been clear to see for a while now. He had been impressing after returning from the AFC Asian Cup and it looks like he has continued to develop his game in training.

On the other hand, Kuhn has taken the opportunity that came his way with both hands as well. All things considered, there might be some genuine competition for that position on the pitch moving forward.

On top of everything else, Celtic are expected to sign another winger in the summer following the departure of Liel Abada. It is worth pointing out that they never really replaced Jota in the first place, after he left for Al-Ittihad last year in a Scottish record £25 million move.