It is fair to say that Celtic’s form and consistency have landed them in an enviable place with regard to rotation.

Ange Postecoglou has previously insisted that the team effort extends beyond those who make the starting 11, with injuries and loss of individual form playing a part in the makeup of the squad with each game that comes around.

That being said, with Celtic a solitary win away from securing their second league title in a row, it may be a perfect chance for some of their lesser-used players to stake their claim ahead of next season, with those who have not featured as much in proceedings so far looking to make a good impression.

Yuki Kobayashi

With defensive stalwart Cameron Carter-Vickers undergoing a knee operation which will rule him out for the rest of the season, Kobayashi is a near-certainty to gather a number of consecutive games under his belt. A January signing from Japanese side Vissel Kobe, he's certainly had to bide his time.

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Thanks to the consistently reliable form of both the aforementioned Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt, Kobayashi has found game-time hard to come by since arriving in Scotland. The 22-year-old has made fleeting appearances thus far, appearing four times and making three starts in the heart of defence for Celtic.

Despite this lack of football, the former Japanese U20 internationalist has certainly impressed whenever he has been given the opportunity to showcase his talents, most notably away from home against Hearts and Kilmarnock, respectively.

At Tynecastle, Kobayashi was brought on as a half-time replacement for the injured Starfelt. Playing alongside Carter-Vickers, he hardly put a foot wrong as he helped the team ease to a 3-0 victory in the Scottish Cup, in what is traditionally an intimidating place to go to for opposition teams.

In the latter fixture, Kobayashi’s distribution was particularly impressive, his range of passing from the left-hand side a constant menace for the Killie players to deal with. According to StatsBomb, Kobayashi has a passing completion percentage of 96 per cent so far in his limited appearances for the club, highlighting his comfort with the ball at his feet.

This range of ability, both creatively and defensively, means that he is a perfect hybrid for Postecoglou’s attack-minded Celtic and one to keep an eye on in the coming years as he progresses at his new club.

Tomoki Iwata

Much like Kobayashi, Tomoki Iwata has had to be patient for his chance to make an impact on Postecoglou’s side.

The combative Japan international, who can play in a multitude of positions across both the defensive back-line and midfield, is no stranger to the manager, as it was the Australian that signed him at Yokohama F Marinos back in 2021.

Iwata joined the club with sizable fanfare, having been awarded the J.League MVP last season, as Marinos won the title in Japan under Kevin Muscat, a familiar face to both Postecoglou and Scottish football alike.

He has been deployed exclusively as a central midfielder in his 12 appearances, providing one assist to his positional counterpart Callum McGregor against Motherwell, and has impressed both the support and his manager alike with his performances.

His tenacity in the centre of the park – especially in the recent absence of fellow countryman Reo Hatate – has endeared himself to the supporters already, as many wanted Iwata to start in the recent Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers, especially after doing so in the last two games in the league.

There was a plausible suggestion he could handle the fixture adequately as his previous substitute appearances against the Ibrox club left a good impression on large sectors of the Celtic faithful, his calming presence in the middle of the park allowing his side to see out the game on both occasions.

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With Hatate easing his way back into the squad after injury, and players such as McGregor and Matt O’Riley having played extensive minutes throughout the season, this could be the perfect opportunity for Iwata to cement his place in the middle of the park ahead of the new campaign, where his calmness may be needed, especially on the European stage.

Hyeon-gyu Oh

Another January signing, Hyeon-gyu Oh had big shoes to fill, directly replacing fan-favourite Giorgos Giakoumakis following the Greek’s departure to Atlanta United. The South Korean striker, signed from Suwon Samsung Bluewings, was a long-term target for Postecoglou, having been scouted and identified months before his arrival.

A fully-fledged international for Jurgen Klinsmann’s Korea side, Oh has made 15 appearances for Celtic thus far in all competitions. The majority of these minutes have come from the bench, however, as he has played second-fiddle to Kyogo Furuhashi in terms of leading the forward line. In these limited appearances, Oh has scored three times, including a late header against Hibernian.

Unlike Kyogo, Oh is more of a physical presence when he leads the line, posing a different threat for opposition defences to contend with. Standing at over six feet, the target-man offers Celtic a different route to the goal through power and strength, the polar opposite of Kyogo’s guile and speed. He averages just under 14 touches in the box per game (StatsBomb), showcasing his willingness to get on the end of chances in the box, despite having limited minutes to express himself in the game.