Brendan Rodgers names which Celtic favourite will “be a better player” next season

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers says he has faith that Charly Musonda will improve next season after a difficult few months at Parkhead. The 21-year-old joined the Hoops on an 18-month deal in January but has struggled for playing time.

Musonda joined Chelsea from Anderlecht in 2012 and has gone on to make just seven appearances in all competitions with the Blues. The Belgian u21 international spent a year with Real Betis between 2016 and 2017, racking up 24 games, but hasn’t taken to life as well at Celtic.

The promising talent has made just eight appearances for the Bhoys this season, spending the majority of his time on the bench, but Rodgers isn’t worried. He says the young midfielder needs time to settle in Scotland and should be all the better for having six months to bed in.

Rodgers said, in quotes reported by the Daily Record:

“It’s a different type of loan for Charly compared to when he went to Spain and had to succeed straight away. Here he has 18 months to settle in, find the way of working and realising the pressures of a big club.”

“But he’s enjoying every minute of it and he knows that over time here that he will get an opportunity to show it in training where he works well and then in the games. It’s just time, that’s all.

 “All players want to play but he’s no different to Patrick Roberts or some of the others. They have a respect for where they are and what the team is doing. They respect that you can only pick 11 players.

 “He’s absolutely fine. He’s here for the 18 months and by the end of that he knows he is going to be a better player. He’ll make some appearances from when he arrived in January to the end of this season. Then I think next season will be a big one for him to make his mark.”

Stiff competition in the Celtic side has kept Musonda out of the starting line-up, with the Hoops having Patrick Roberts, James Forrest, Tomas Rogic, Scott Sinclair and Calum McGregor as attacking options.

With six months to train with the squad and get used to life in Scotland, Rodgers feels Musonda will come on leaps and bounds for 2018/19.

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Crippy Cooke

Crippy can be found on Twitter (@CrippyCooke) He is a sports journalist who has written for the Independent, Bleacher Report, Huffington Post, Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph among others. Crippy treats football gossip with a dash of cynicism and loves tearing apart outlandish rumours.