Having made the move to Parkhead this summer, it would seem fair to say that James McCarthy’s career at Celtic has not exactly got off to the start that many would have expected, the player himself included.
Indeed, so far during his time in Glasgow, the 30-year-old has made just three appearances in the Premiership, as well as a further five over Europa League qualifying, the Europa League proper and the Scottish League Cup, with his lack of game-time largely down to a series of niggling injuries.
In these fixtures, the Republic of Ireland international has not particularly blown anyone away with this level of performance, averaging a SofaScore match rating of 6.63 over his three Premiership appearances, in addition to a 6.55 rating over his two outings in the Europa League group stage.
However, having not featured for Celtic since the 4-0 defeat against Bayer Leverkusen back in September after suffering another injury setback, Ange Postecoglou recently revealed that the £2.7m-rated midfielder is now “training well” following his recovery.
Following the news that Tom Rogic looks set to miss Saturday’s clash against Livingston as a result of his own injury troubles, now would appear to be the perfect opportunity for the Celtic boss to give McCarthy some much-needed first team minutes.
Indeed, when back up to speed fully, a player who has the experience of 272 Premier League appearances over spells with Everton and Crystal Palace behind him will undoubtedly provide Postecoglou with a fantastic option in the middle of the park, and he could well be crucial in the Bhoys bid to reclaim their Premiership crown come next May.
As such, the Hoops manager must unleash the player who he himself dubbed a “top-class” talent on Saturday, as it is time for McCarthy to start earning his keep at Parkhead.