Celtic are blessed with a host of promising young players at the moment.

Their B team are taking part in the Lowland League for the first time and it would appear as though at long last, their stars of tomorrow are gaining the minutes they need.

On the chalkboard

One of the biggest problems behind the scenes at Celtic in the last few years has been the lack of attention put towards academy players.

Neil Lennon neglected the younger individuals in the team last term and even when the going got though, he failed to hand opportunities to figures like Cameron Harper, Karamoko Dembele and Adam Montgomery.

John Kennedy eventually gave the final two players a chance and they both took their moments in the limelight well.

Dembele scored in the final weeks of the campaign but has been injured since Ange Postecoglou came through the door.

The Australian was quick to comment after being given the Hoops job that he wanted to give more responsibility to homegrown players and that has been evident in the way he’s trusted the likes of Montgomery and Dane Murray.

Should Bitton get another chance at Celtic?

No way!

No way!

Yes please!

Yes please!

It speaks volumes about Celtic’s options in defence that they’ve had to play, though, especially the latter.

He was rewarded with his first-team debut after Nir Bitton was sent off in the Champions League and did no wrong.

Bitton’s form in the early parts of the season has been extremely questionable. Not only was he given his marching orders against Midtjylland but he was also at fault for Hearts’ winner on the opening weekend of the Premiership campaign.

The Israeli has rarely been seen since that moment but it’s not just Murray who should leapfrog him in the pecking order, Ewan Otoo should as well.

A centre-back by trade, the 19-year-old has captained the reserves and although he’s not played for the senior side yet, looks like one to watch as the season plays out.

Otoo spent a period of time on loan at Clyde last term where he was given a fine appraisal by Danny Lennon for his performances.

Guess the shirt numbers from Celtic’s famous 2002/03 UEFA Cup side. Let’s start with Mohammed Sylla…

The manager commented: “Ewan is a young boy with fantastic energy, he’s trying to make his mark in the game at that level, so he will certainly get the experience of that.

“What he does have is a terrific attitude, for a very young boy he’s years ahead in terms of maturation, and is a very strong, powerful boy.”

What’s so striking about the young defender is his ability to get forward. He can play out from the back and is also capable of playing at left-back.

That’s something he did on a regular basis in League One last term, where he picked up an extremely eye-catching assist against Forfar.

Otoo received the ball on the left and then advanced between two defenders before driving to the byline and laying the ball on a plate for his teammate.

Versatility is extremely key and with the Hoops lacking senior options on the left side of defence, he could earn a breakthrough there.

Failing that, he certainly deserves to be ahead of Bitton in the centre-back pecking order. The experience he gained of first-team football last term should stand him in very good stead for a Parkhead breakthrough.

AND in other news, Ange can finally axe “clumsy” Celtic dud by unleashing “fearless” 21 y/o tomorrow…

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