Chris Sutton believes that Tom Rogic can bring purpose and life to Celtic’s faltering season.
In the final week of October the Australian has still to start a match this season but for 25 minutes against AC Milan he gave the team a welcome pick-me-up. Suddenly things were coming together, passes connected, the ball was pinging around the final third of the park as previously lethargic team-mates became an attacking threat.
After starting just six matches last season it looked like Rogic’s seven year Celtic career was about to be signed off. When a bid was accepted from Qatar there wasn’t much unrest from supporters, his contribution had been memorable but it seemed like a logical parting of the ways.
A basic fitness issue means that it is unlikely that the 27-year-old will rack up 50 appearances in a season but half that number at the levels of 2018-2018 could make all the difference with an uncanny knack for delivering the goods and goals in cup finals, semis and in the Glasgow derby.
Sutton watched the best of Rogic make Celtic sparkle, against AC Milan he saw enough in 25 minutes to convince him that there is still a match-winner there as he told Daily Record readers:
Something that has been sadly lacking at times this term. Craft. Guile. An ability to do something out of the ordinary and special. The Antipodean gave me signs against Milan that he’s not a busted Parkhead flush.
It was only a short appearance from the bench as he took the place of Scott Brown to give more creativity and that’s what he did. Some of the touches, the positions he took up, the ability.
It’s no secret I’m a fan of his. At one stage during the Brendan Rodgers era, he was a go-to man for big games. You don’t just lose it. Rogic has still got it in there and now would be a mightily important time to produce it.
If I were Neil, I’d be starting him at Aberdeen tomorrow. He’s got the ability to carve Aberdeen apart. Even if you can only get an hour of him, he could have won you the game by then with some magic.
With the squad options limited Rogic looks certain to be involved at some stage, like most Celtic fans Sutton will be looking for a starting place for the 27-year-old with a track record against Derek McInnes’ side.