Celtic and the activity of stockpiling seem to have a harmonious relationship nowadays.

Earlier this season, Brendan Rodgers’ side had a wealth of defenders on their books, thanks to injuries and signings playing their part throughout the season. Though this has been addressed slightly, the issue remains prevalent at the club. Now, however, there seems to be a second key position which has an overload of personnel attached to it at Celtic, which is on the wing. Of course – much like the centre-back area – there are two spots up for grabs at any one time when Celtic are taking to the field, though the volume of wide players is too high at present.

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This is before you consider Nicolas Kühn, Celtic’s latest signing from Rapid Vienna. The 24-year-old German winger can play on both sides, as well as up front, though it looks as if he will occupy the right-hand side of Celtic’s attack under Rodgers. A thorough scouting report of the player by Stewart Ross can be found here. With Kühn now at the club, Celtic have an overflow of wide players at their disposal. Ironically, they may have to dispose of some of their options in this window to free up space.

With all of that in mind, here is the situation of every winger currently at the club, and their prospects as we head into the second half of the season…

Not going anywhere

Of course, some wide players need not worry about this shuffling of the pack, at least this month. Luis Palma will no doubt be a major player for the club in the second half of the season. Almost on double figures for both goals and assists this campaign, the Honduran is vitally important to the club at present, being one of Celtic’s most creative players alongside Matt O’Riley in midfield.

The same importance applies to Daizen Maeda, too, who is currently away with the Japan national team competing in the Asia Cup. Signing a contract extension last summer, the speedy wide man provides cover on both wings, as well as an option up front for Rodgers to utilise when he returns from Qatar. Although a tad wasteful in possession at times, his tireless work rate and endeavour make him a trusted grafter in games, especially when Rodgers’ side do not have the ball in their possession.

One player who seems to be happy with his lot as his career winds down is James Forrest. Unquestionably a Celtic great – with the trophy haul to match – he signed a contract extension in 2022 for a further three years, which you would expect he would see out at the club in full next summer. Despite still being a decent finisher, the former Scotland international has lost the explosive pace that made him a threat to both domestic and European defenders respectively. Never one to kick up a fuss about a lack of minutes or even a spot on the bench when not included, perhaps Celtic’s number 49’s main contributions lie off the pitch in the dressing room, where he will be considered a veteran. The fact he is a homegrown and academy product makes him a valuable asset when the club submits its team for European competition, another reason to keep the centurion around.

Question marks

Outwith these three wingers, the rest of Celtic's wide options will be sitting a little uneasy, though not all of this is down to form. Liel Abada, who signed for the club in 2021 under previous manager Ange Postecoglou, is in an uneasy situation thanks to the developments occurring in his homeland of Israel. He has been facing increased scrutiny from his international peers and national team manager in recent months, which cannot be easy for the young winger to deal with. While reports have claimed that Abada is happy where he is, you wonder if a move may be on his mind moving forward. Regardless, having signed a five-year deal last September, a sizable fee would have to be tabled to secure his services.

Outwith these individuals, the rest of Celtic’s wingers are either not fancied, out of favour or effectively making up the numbers at the club. Next up in the pecking order is South Korean international Yang Hyun-jun, who is also away with his national team at the moment. A player that has shown sprinkles of promise in his first six months at the club, the former Gangwon attacker blows hot and cold with his performances, though his appearances are sporadic in truth. Yang was keen to join the side last summer, though he may need to go elsewhere to pick up the game time needed to fight for his place at the club. Playing on the right – much like Kühn – the arrival of the latter may spell a reduction in playing time for the undoubtedly talented wide man. One to potentially watch as the transfer window rages on, as fellow domestic clubs may be on the lookout for some of Celtic’s scraps come the end of the month.

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Speaking of academy products, Mikey Johnston finds himself in a peculiar position, though a better one than a few weeks prior. His double against Dundee at Dens Park would have helped his case, though the arrival of Kühn – a presumed annoyance of many wingers this window – has made his place at Celtic all the more contentious. Rodgers is a big fan of the player, though he has not been shy to publicly call him out when the Republic of Ireland regular does not perform at his optimum, given his talents. Contracted until the summer of 2026 – according to Transfermarkt – Johnston’s minutes may be severely limited from this point onwards. Perhaps a move – either temporarily or permanently – may be the best move for the 24-year-old, who needs games under his belt in this crucial part of the window. After all, he is of an age where his years cannot be used as an excuse for his inconsistencies anymore.

The last player on Celtic’s list of first-team wingers is the club’s very own version of the ‘Invisible Man’, who has played just twice since he arrived from Melbourne City in his native Australia. Of course, we’re talking about Marco Tilio, who also is away with his national team at the Asia Cup. A player with a lot of hype surrounding his name when he joined the club, Tilio’s signing was somewhat marred by the fact he was injured on arrival to Scotland. This lack of pre-season was to be a hindrance to his introduction to Scottish football, as the player only made his debut in November of last year, just under five months after he signed. Much like Johnston, the winger will essentially need to leave to get first-team action, as he is so far down the pecking order at present. Maybe he could join a fellow Premiership team like Kwon Hyeok-kyu and Adam Montgomery have done in recent days?


Overall, Celtic’s wide positions are a busy place at the moment. There are simply too many players on the club’s books at the moment, with players missing out on valuable game-time thanks to both competition and sheer numbers of personnel currently contracted to the side.

Some of these players will, unfortunately, have to depart the club this month or face a long wait until the summer for a change in scenery. Either way, the club will know who they see as major players in the second half of this season, and who they need to cut their losses with in the not-so-distant future. An unfortunate and brutal part of squad management, but one that is necessary in the upkeep of the football club.