When Ange Postecoglou entered Celtic, he made it very clear that the Hoops needed to improve in one area.
Celtic’s defensive organisation was a shambles last term, but another concern was the usage of homegrown talent at Parkhead.
It’s been an area of the club which has been neglected significantly in recent years, with Neil Lennon and then John Kennedy failing to hand out regular opportunities to academy prospects.
Lennon put his faith in players last term who consistently let him down and it became baffling that he didn’t see a place for the likes of Karamoko Dembele and Cameron Harper in the squad.
After just a few days of being in Glasgow, the manager said: “I’m a big believer that, if you can produce homegrown talent and players who have come through the club, there’s extra meaning to represent that football club for the player. For the supporters, they see one of their own out there and I think that’s very important.”
Dembele hasn’t gained any game-time this season due to an injury but the Australian has lived true to his word in the early stages of the campaign.
Homegrown talents in Dane Murray and Adam Montgomery have earned minutes in Europe already and appear to be genuine options from the bench.
Montgomery looks set to receive more action as the campaign goes on after Celtic failed to sign a left-back in the window. Boli Bolingoli isn’t in the manager’s plans, which has opened the door for younger individuals to stake their claim in that area of the pitch.
Another teenager who will be pushing for a spot at left-back is Matthew Anderson. The 17-year-old attracted the interest of Leeds during the transfer window but has stayed in Glasgow and will hope to progress this season.
Montgomery earning minutes has shown there is an avenue to the first team and Celtic already have fine left-back pedigree in their youth ranks.
Tierney is one of the biggest success stories from the Celtic academy. He went on to earn 170 appearances for the Hoops, winning five Premiership crowns and half a dozen domestic cups.
Coincidentally, Anderson is a player who has been compared to the former fan favourite.
Opening up on the defender’s development, Blantyre Soccer Academy chief Jimmy Whelan told the Daily Record (via Leeds Live): “It’s fantastic for us as a club, and it’s great to see Matthew doing so well.
“He really is one to watch, he is the real deal, and could be like Kieran Tierney.”
Anderson obviously has a long way to go before he’s considered a regular part of the first-team setup but earning senior minutes for the reserves in the Lowland League this season should undoubtedly progress his development.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if he’s giving Montgomery a run for his money in the future.