Celtic eased to a 3-0 win over Dundee on Saturday to make it four wins from their opening five matches of the Scottish Premiership.

After a frustrating first half, second-half goals from David Turnbull, Kyogo and Matt O’Riley ensured there was no repeat of the goalless draw with St Johnstone in the champions' last outing at Celtic Park. Manager Brendan Rodgers handed a start to on-loan Liverpool defender Nat Phillips with other late summer arrivals, Honduran winger Luis Palma and Portuguese midfielder Paulo Bernardo, also making their first appearances in green and white.

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Here, we take a closer look at how the trio of debutants fared on their first outings as Celtic players…

Nat Phillips

The Bolton-born central defender, signed on a six-month loan deal in the final week of the transfer window, started his first Celtic game alongside Liam Scales at the expense of Gustaf Lagerbielke.

Signed as cover after injuries to Cameron Carter-Vickers, Maik Nawrocki and Stephen Welsh, Phillips enjoyed a relatively quiet first start before being replaced by Lagerbielke at the interval.

Rodgers revealed post-match that the plan was to give Phillips 60 minutes ahead of the Champions League opener against Feyenoord on Tuesday night, but after rolling his ankle in the final seconds of the half, the switch was made earlier than planned.

Phillips was - unsurprisingly in a home match against Dundee - on the ball plenty in his 45-minute display. The Dark Blues’ front two did a decent enough job of cutting off supply into Callum McGregor in the middle in the first half but were happy to allow Phillips, and Scales, to travel a long way into their half with the ball.

The Englishman - as can be seen in his pass map below - ended up in an almost right-midfield/right-wing position at times, something he is likely not all that used to. He was positive in these scenarios though, striding forward with reasonable enough purpose. However, he did look a bit uncomfortable in these areas and his use of the ball was - at times - pretty erratic. This is understandable to an extent, given this was his first match with his new teammates, and also his first competitive game of football since an FA Cup tie with Liverpool in January. 

However, his forward passing in those more advanced areas, and over longer distances, really was not great. He attempted four long passes, including two diagonal cross-field balls, none of which found a Celtic jersey.

In total, Wyscout attributed 23 forward passes to Phillips on Saturday, with 16 of them (70 per cent) finding their intended target. His replacement for the second half, Lagerbielke, attempted more, 27, and completed more, 24 (89 per cent), in his 45-minute performance.

Admittedly in a slightly different game state given Celtic held a comfortable lead for most of the second half, Lagerbielke did also boast a higher accuracy rate for his overall passes (94 per cent) compared to Phillips (81 per cent).

Phillips looked more than comfortable when it came to the defensive side of the game though. The towering defender cuts an imposing figure on the pitch and he won four of his five aerial duels and both of his defensive duels against Dundee. He also made three interceptions and two clearances.  

Given that Celtic are likely to be defending their box much, much more in the De Kuip Stadium on Tuesday than they did on Saturday, Phillips' strengths in this area and previous Champions League experience, will more than likely see him - fitness permitting - get the nod to start ahead of Lagerbielke again.

Luis Palma

Celtic’s second-ever Honduran was introduced on the hour mark for Yang Hyun-jun. Sporting the iconic number seven shirt, Palma enjoyed a bright enough first appearance in Paradise.

With Daizen Maeda shifting across to fill Yang’s position on the right, Palma slotted in on the left side of Celtic’s attack.

After Kyogo took any tension out of the game with the second goal just minutes after Palma’s introduction, and then O’Riley wrapped up things soon after, the winger had the opportunity to get his first experience of Celtic Park with little to no jeopardy in the game.

He often drifted inside in his half-hour cameo appearance, combining mostly with Greg Taylor and Reo Hatate on Celtic’s left side. An example of just how far he was willing to come inside was when he picked up a dangerous position on the edge of the box, shown below. Here he showed good vision to spot the run of Maeda in behind but failed to execute the pass.

In total, according to StatsBomb, Palma had 15 open-play passes in the final third in his first appearance, two more than the more direct Yang attempted in his hour on the pitch. The former Aris attacker was more secure in possession than the South Korean too, completing 77 per cent of his passes compared to Yang’s 60 per cent, which was the lowest of any Celtic player on the day, according to StatsBomb.

Despite playing half an hour less than Yang, Palma also managed to exert more pressures (seven) in the game than the former Gangwon man (six).

Provided Celtic play with a similar shape on Tuesday, Palma’s potentially higher level of security on the ball and willingness off the ball will likely come into Rodgers’ thinking when he decides who gets the other winger spot alongside Maeda on Tuesday night.

There is no doubt Yang has shown some encouraging signs so far in his Celtic career but his turnover rate (7.06 per 90 from his 2.3 90s played), albeit from a small sample of game time, would still be a particular worry going into the ruthless Champions League environment.

Paulo Bernardo

The third and final debutant on Saturday was midfielder Bernardo. Celtic’s last piece of business in the window, the loan signing from Benfica took the place of O’Riley, who impressed once again, for the final 20 minutes of the match.

Despite having little time to make too much of an impact, Bernardo still looked tidy enough in possession. Although mostly short and simple, he only misplaced one of his ten passes while he also showed a glimpse of decent shooting technique when he fizzed a powerful effort just over in the dying embers of the match. There were signs he could offer something out-of-possession too with Bernardo registering three pressures in his cameo display, according to StatsBomb. Although not a huge amount, for context, David Turnbull, who played an hour in the midfield area too, only had two more than him.

The return of the influential Reo Hatate will likely see the Japanese international take up the third spot in the Celtic’s likely three-man midfield on Tuesday night and with Turnbull favoured by Rodgers in the early weeks of the season and Odin Thiago Holm showing promising signs too, there is plenty of competition for minutes in the middle of the park.

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However, the Portuguese under-21 international demonstrated, albeit in a limited window, enough to suggest he will get further opportunities to stake his own claim in the weeks ahead as well.