Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic side head into Thursday evening’s Europa League clash against Real Betis knowing that they can finish no higher or lower than their current third-place standing in Group G – something that renders the result of the match rather unimportant.
However, with the games coming thick and fast as we enter the Christmas period of the football calendar, the visit of Betis could actually prove to be an invaluable fixture for the 56-year-old manager, as it will provide the Bhoys boss with a perfect opportunity to field a number of his peripheral squad members, affording them some much needed first-team minutes.
Considering just how much of potential Urhoghide quite clearly possesses, the fact that the former Sheffield Wednesday centre-back is still yet to make his debut for the Bhoys is rather strange.
Upon his arrival in Glasgow, Postecoglou appeared to be extremely excited at the prospect of working with the youngster, stating of Urhoghide: “He can play a couple of positions at the back and, importantly, he’s really keen to learn and develop and I think this will be a great environment for him. He’s a modern defender. He’s good athletically, he’s mobile, he’s quick and he wants to get on the ball.”
Indeed, the £270k-rated man is no stranger to senior football, making 16 Championship appearances last season, over which he helped the Owls keep three clean sheets, as well as making an average of 1.6 interceptions, 1.8 tackles, 2.7 clearances and winning an impressive 5.8 duels per game.
And, considering the number of injuries Postecoglou has had to deal with in defence so far this season, exactly why the manager has ignored the player who Darren Moore dubbed an “immense” talent is a question we struggle to answer. Keeping that in mind, it might make sense if Camerton Carter-Vickers is given the night off, with the talented youngster afforded a rare chance instead.
With nothing at stake aside from pride against Betis on Thursday, the 56-year-old simply must unleash the 21-year-old who Dean Ashton claimed always looks “eager to impress” in the fixture, as he undoubtedly possesses the ability to become an extremely important player within Celtic squad in the second half of the campaign.