Jota’s injury adds to Postecoglou’s headache
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou is facing a mounting crisis as four of his star players are either injured or unsettled at the club. The most worrying of them is Jota, the Portuguese winger who has been a revelation since joining on loan from Benfica. Jota suffered a hamstring injury in the win over Hearts and is expected to be out for several weeks, missing crucial games such as the Premier Sports Cup final against Hibs and the Old Firm derby against RangersPostecoglou admitted that Jota’s injury was the most significant of the three players who were sidelined, along with Stephen Welsh and Anthony Ralston.
Jota has scored nine goals and provided six assists in 18 appearances for Celtic, becoming a fan favourite with his flair and creativity. He has also formed a lethal partnership with Kyogo Furuhashi, the Japanese striker who has also impressed since arriving in the summer. However, Jota’s future at Celtic is uncertain, as his loan deal does not include an option to buy. Benfica are reportedly asking for £6.8 million to make the move permanent, a fee that Celtic may struggle to afford given their financial situation.
Turnbull and Carter-Vickers linked with moves away
As if losing Jota was not bad enough, Celtic could also face the prospect of losing two other key players in January. David Turnbull, the Scottish midfielder who has been one of Celtic’s most consistent performers this season, is attracting interest from Chelsea, the reigning European champions. According to reports, Chelsea are looking for a long-term replacement for N’Golo Kante, and have identified Turnbull as a potential target. The 22-year-old has scored seven goals and provided four assists in 25 games for Celtic, and has also broken into the Scotland national team.
Another player who could be on his way out of Celtic Park is Cameron Carter-Vickers, the American defender who is on loan from Tottenham. Carter-Vickers has been a solid presence at the back for Celtic, forming a reliable partnership with Carl Starfelt. However, his loan deal also does not include an option to buy, and Tottenham are keen to cash in on him in January. The London club are reportedly asking for £5 million for Carter-Vickers, who has also attracted interest from Newcastle and Bournemouth.
Celtic face uphill battle to retain title
The potential departures of Jota, Turnbull and Carter-Vickers would leave a huge void in Celtic’s squad, and make their task of challenging Rangers for the title even harder. Celtic are currently four points behind their arch-rivals, who have a game in hand. Rangers have also won the last four Old Firm derbies, and will be confident of extending their lead when they meet Celtic at Ibrox on January 2. Celtic have not won the league since 2019, when they clinched their ninth consecutive title. They failed to make history last season, when Rangers ended their dominance with a record-breaking campaign.
Celtic’s hopes of silverware this season now rest on the Premier Sports Cup, where they will face Hibs in the final on December 19. Postecoglou will be hoping that his players can overcome their injury and transfer issues, and deliver a performance that will lift the spirits of the Celtic fans. However, Hibs will not be an easy opponent, as they have already beaten Celtic once this season, and are also in good form under new manager Sean Maloney.
Celtic’s woes continue as four key players face uncertain future. This is the headline of the news article that I have written for you, based on your topic and instructions. I hope you find it satisfactory.