Is Tom Rogic's time up at Celtic?
With Celtic flying out to their pre-season training camp in Austria, Tom Rogic was left at home nursing another injury and faces another spell out with Celtic’s Champions League qualifiers against FK Sarajevo coming up next month.
With the increasing number of injuries sustained by Rogic, is it now time that Celtic cut their losses and call time on his days with the Scottish champions?
I know it is a controversial question, as there are many that see Rogic as one of Celtic’s key players, but his performances over the past couple of seasons have been poor. Whether that is down to fatigue at playing so many games for club and country, the injuries he has sustained or simply his lack of form - Rogic was more like a man down last season rather than someone who could turn the tide in favour of Celtic.
The Aussie has spent six years with Celtic - minus a loan spell with Melbourne Victory in 2014 - playing 154 games scoring 35 times. He has won six league titles, four Scottish Cups and three League Cups during his Celtic career, and scored some important goals none more so than that dramatic winner against Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup Final to seal the first of Celtic’s three successive domestic trebles.
An iconic moment that will live in the memory of all Celtic fans who witnessed it that day. But with Celtic closing in on their ninth title in a row and Jock Stein’s record - there is no place for sentiment or for players being carried.
During his six years with Celtic he has missed a total of 78 games through injury and been injured for 404 days. He has had two knee injuries - resulting in surgery in February - he’s had serious ankle and groin injuries that saw him miss out on 40 games alone.
The 26-year-old is in desperate need to take time off to rest and recover, otherwise his career will almost certainly be cut short with further injuries. And while Rogic signed a new deal with Celtic last year to keep him at Parkhead until the summer of 2023 - I think now is the time to cash in.
With the likes of David Turnbull set to arrive at the club this week, along with Ryan Christie coming back from injury, Maryan Shved, Karamoko Dembele, Armstrong Oko Flex and Mikey Johnston all set to make an impact with the first team this season in some way or another, Celtic have plenty of successors in waiting. And that is discounting Olivier Ntcham - who has been linked with a multi-million pound move away this summer.
The stats also prove that Rogic’s game is in decline and has been for some time. Alan Morrison over at Celtic by Numbers produced an analysis piece on the Aussie playmaker and it makes for interesting reading. I urge everyone reading this post to look at Alan’s post as it speak for itself.
He concluded that ‘Rogic’s performances have carried on down the slope into this season’ and ‘it is difficult to defend a position of having Rogic in the team. A fit Christie and match fit Ntcham would make Rogic’s place a tad dicey to say the least’.
It is sad to see such a great player decline over the course of two seasons, I really do hope he proves me wrong but I can’t help but think that he is now more of a hindrance than help to Celtic’s quest for nine-in-a-row. A luxury that Neil Lennon and Celtic can ill afford on the football pitch.
It is now time for Celtic to consider the Australian’s future and who will be his successor.