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In terms of scrutinised positions, the full-back areas seem to gathering a lot of attention at the moment when it comes to Celtic.

On the right-hand side, there are question marks over Anthony Ralston when Alistair Johnston cannot fulfil his role as Celtic’s starting right-back. However, the Scotland international has the experience and CV to argue that he is a capable deputy when the Canadian is unavailable.

However, the opposite side is where alarm bells are ringing, especially after recent performances from Greg Taylor. Effectively unchallenged at the moment because of factors both on and off of the pitch, the defender has endured an extremely shaky start to life under Brendan Rodgers. One of Ange Postecoglou’s standout players over the last two years, Taylor blossomed into a bona fide Celtic player thanks to the Australian’s use of inverted full-backs in his 4-3-3 system.

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Signed under Neil Lennon following the departure of Kieran Tierney to Arsenal and the uncertainty surrounding Boli Bolingoli as his replacement, Taylor switched from Kilmarnock to Celtic on deadline day in 2019. He established himself in his second season, which coincided with Celtic’s worst domestic performance in decades. Although making many appearances in that campaign, his future was unclear when Postecoglou came to the club, though that notion was very quickly put to bed.

Awarded a new contract early on by the manager and club, Taylor flourished under Postecoglou in the inverted role. By allowing the full-backs into the midfield to overflow the engine room in the centre of the park, Taylor was given the creative license to make passes, drive the play forward and even chip in with a few goals in this unfamiliar but fresh role change. He was an integral part of Celtic winning the treble in Postecoglou’s second season, despite the arrival of Bernabei for £3.75million from Argentinian side Lanus.

However, with Postecoglou now no longer at the club, Rodgers is now back in the manager’s hot seat. Despite flirting with the idea of inverted full-backs at Leicester City, the way the 50-year-old has set up the players in these positions at Celtic has been far more traditional. In essence, they are now expected to play like they have done for decades, both in defence and when making their way down the wing in attack. Although this is the way and style that Taylor has played for the majority of his career so far, it does not seem to suit him at Celtic.

Despite not hiding away from his responsibilities and working hard to secure the win for his team, he put in another underwhelming performance against Aberdeen off the back of a poor opening game against Ross County the week before. If we are being brutally honest about his performances under the management of Rodgers, he has been one of Celtic’s weakest links in both pre-season and the early competitive action. Defensively caught out in the opening game against Yokohama F Marinos, the Scotland international looks to be struggling with the demands of reverting back to a traditional left-back on the pitch this season.

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Of course, the football game is fickle, and a good performance against the likes of his former team Kilmarnock or a solid one against Rangers at Ibrox would go a long way to convince the doubters that Taylor is up to the task. Only two games have transpired in the league so far. However, these sub-par performances – coupled with reports that Celtic are potentially in the market for a new left-back – point to uncertainty in this position. It seems as if the problems arising before in the 2020/21 season at left-back are slowly beginning to rear their ugly heads again. Celtic cannot afford to let that happen, especially when there is much change in the centre of defence already with the departure of Carl Starfelt, alongside injuries to existing players.

It does not help Taylor’s case that he is the only viable left-back at the moment, which keeps him directly in the firing line. As as much as Bernabei is fit and available, the Argentine has a knack for shooting himself in the foot when it comes to his discipline off the pitch, as well as a lack of it on the field of play with his erratic and unpredictable style at times. This style may have been better suited to Postecoglou’s system, but it would seem that Rodgers has the diminutive full-back sussed out already, it seems.

With Celtic once again competing in the Champions League this season, it is clear that there are some areas that need to be addressed. Despite his best efforts, Taylor is so far not up to the standard required domestically in this campaign which does not bode well for his prospects in Europe. Whether he needs directly replaced or just somebody who will challenge his position, the left-back position must be strengthened in this window.