Celtic winger Jonny Hayes was handed just his third start of the season in his side’s 1-1 draw with Motherwell on Wednesday night, with Scott Sinclair coming on from the substitutes’ bench at half-time.
The Bhoys were looking to return to the top of the Scottish Premiership table and looked to have the ideal opportunity to do just that as arch-rivals Rangers slipped up at home to Aberdeen, but even though they led going into the closing stages they were eventually pegged back by Danny Johnson’s 88th-minute equaliser.
While Ryan Christie might be in form right now, the same certainly can’t be said of Hayes and Sinclair, who have five goals and six assists between them in 30 appearances.
When he is playing a 4-3-3 or 4-1-4-1 system, Rodgers needs his wide players to be making an impact if Celtic are to get the success that they need.
The Bhoys certainly haven’t been as prolific as usual in the final third this term with 31 goals in their 14 top-flight fixtures – six fewer than Rangers and only six more than eighth-placed Hibernian – and they have lacked that threat needed on the flanks.
Five goals in five Europa League group stage matches only further illustrates the point, and the Glasgow giants need more players that can ease the goalscoring and creative burden on the likes of Christie, Leigh Griffiths and Odsonne Edouard.
Rodgers’ January plan should now be crystal clear following the draw against Motherwell – he needs at least one new winger in the New Year, and possibly even two.
The injury suffered by Daniel Arzani, who could have been an important player for the club, has hardly helped matters, with little competition in wide areas.
The lack of pace shown by Hayes on Wednesday was noticemable and with Sinclair out of sorts and not being the same player he has been for them previously, the duo’s time at Parkhead is surely coming to a close with new blood needed at the turn of 2019.