Kristoffer Ajer put in a hard shift against Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg coming on as a substitute for Erik Sviatchenko after the big Dane received a head knock.
The former Start midfielder showed his versatility in the defensive line and at just 18 years old, Ronny Deila’s last signing may just be his finest.
The young Norwegian hasn’t yet finished growing let alone matured into the finished product of a footballer. That he will mature in Hoops bides well for Celtic. He is only going to get better.
In the short term he must be preferred to Efe Ambrose and used in the return game vs Lincoln Red Imps. Eoghan O’Connell also put in an impressive performance and he too will be in the reckoning to claim a Centre Back role.
Depending on Sviatchenko’s injury (early prognosis is he will play) we could see a defensive partnership made up of an 18 and 20 years old. I have more faith in these two than Efe Ambrose anyway.
But they were not the only youths to show they are ready to play first team football with 21 year old Ryan Christie grabbing the winner. Christie of course was a first team player at Caley for years and he has the opportunity to play for Celtic for many years.
23 year old Callum McGregor scored our first goal restoring parity and is looking back in the form that had him as a regular under Deila.
Dembele, Roberts, McHart and Henderson also played at Paradise and hopefully these young Celts can keep themselves under the managers nose. The time to prune the deadwood is long overdue.
Celtic have an impressive youth policy where we have dominated Scotland’s development League for a decade. But it has had one fatal flaw, players rise only to be loaned out.
We have been producing gems for other teams for sometime with both Lennon and Deila guilty of not promoting our young charges.
After an invincible season last year and with the acquisition of Ajer, Roberts (on loan) and with Ryan Christie poised to have his first full season in Hoops, the future looks bright at Celtic.
Hopefully after being let down by the old brigade in Gibraltar, Rodgers head will be turned to those desperate to play first team football.
They certainly didn’t do their chances any harm yesterday.