Celtic sent Paulo Bernardo message amid great form

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

Paulo Bernardo has enjoyed quite the rise at Celtic in recent weeks. He had done nothing significant over his first few months at the club, after joining on loan from Benfica in the summer. Even with Reo Hatate out injured, he did not do enough to nail down a spot in the starting XI. That has changed after his latest performances though.

Over the past three games, Bernardo has scored and assisted twice each. That includes a fantastic opener against the Rangers in the Glasgow Derby.

Even a few weeks back, there were not many calls for Bernardo to be signed on a permanent basis. But now, the majority of fans would like to see that happen.

Whether it will or not is a different matter. There is believed to be a £6 million option to buy included in his loan deal from Benfica. A significant figure but not something Celtic would not be able to shell out if they wanted to.

Celtic sent Bernardo message amid great form

A lot of people appear to be impressed with what they have seen from Bernardo recently. As reported by 67 Hail Hail, Paul Lambert told The Celtic Way:

"Sometimes it can take players a full season to settle in at a club like Celtic.

“Others can hit the ground running and it clicks straight away. Then you get those that it may take six months or so and then they just flourish. Paulo Bernardo has come from Portugal and has had to learn a lot in the short time he has been here but he may fit into the latter category. In the last four games, he has raised his levels and he has performed well.

“It’s a start for him in terms of his Celtic career. He has now shown the Celtic fans and the manager that he can do it. The secret and trick now is to do it week in, week out. You don’t get time at Celtic to do it once in every five matches. He has to do it every single week. Bernardo seems to be quite level-headed as well as humble with it, which are two great traits.

“I have watched Bernardo play up until this point and he has seemed to be on the periphery of things but not anymore. He seemed to be content with being one of the starting eleven. There was nothing great and there was nothing bad in his performances – Bernardo was constantly in and out of the team and he hadn’t established himself as a mainstay of the side. Now all of a sudden it has all changed for him.

“Bernardo gets into the box which is a good thing and he has shown that he can net goals for Celtic. He is only 21 and there is a lot of learning for him to do and education to pick up. The carrot being dangled in front of Bernardo now is that the next five months will determine whether he wins a permanent contract at Celtic or not. If he does well and both parties agree then he will sign the deal. If he doesn’t then Brendan will need to decide on what he wants to do with him."

It remains to be seen what the future holds for Bernardo. With Hatate away with the Japan national team for the AFC Asian Cup, he should get plenty of playing time over the coming weeks. He needs to make the most of his chances though.

It will be interesting to see if Bernardo can continue performing at this level or if this proves to be just a purple patch for the midfielder. If he is able to consistently deliver the goods moving forward, one would expect Celtic to sign him on a permanent basis from Benfica next summer, like they did with Jota in 2022.