Brendan Rodgers: Celtic’s Tom Rogic can be among best in Europe

Brendan Rodgers says Tom rogic is 'magic'. Picture: SNS.
Brendan Rodgers says Tom rogic is 'magic'. Picture: SNS.
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Tom Rogic can become one of the best midfielders operating in Europe according to Brendan Rodgers.

The Celtic manager named Rogic in his squad for tonight’s Premiership clash with Partick Thistle while also issuing a reminder of the 24 year-old’s capabilities.

Rogic hasn’t played since a 2-1 win over Dundee in December and has since undergone an operation on a troublesome ankle injury.

But the Australian, pictured, is set to be handed some playing time tonight as the newly-crowned champions entertain Partick Thistle. Rodgers is delighted to welcome someone he dubbed “the magic man” back into the fold and predicted exciting times ahead for the playmaker.

“He’s back in the squad,” said Rodgers. “The magic man is back – what a player. What a player.

“He’s an amazing player. I think he can grow into one of the top midfield players in Europe.

“You saw him grow in the Champions league. You saw him against Manchester City and just purr at his quality.

“There was a big disappointment when he got injured because the week building up to it he was amazing. Top players know where the space is and he’s as good as any I’ve seen at finding space. What he needed to do was gain intensity and strength and gain more end product and he did all of that up until he got injured.”

Meanwhile, Rodgers is hopeful Kolo Toure can be persuaded to remain at Celtic
to continue his coaching 
education.

The Ivory Coast veteran has been a bit-part player this season but returned to play a part in Sunday’s win over Hearts and subsequent title celebrations, where he was seen leading the dressing-room party songs while 
bare-chested.

As his original one-year contract nears its end, Rodgers praised the defender’s 
influence on the squad this season off the field as well as on it.

“We will sit down and see what he’s thinking,” said the manager. “He looks after his body as you saw with his chest on Sunday. He’s in good nick.

“It maybe took him a bit longer to warm up than he used to but you can’t underestimate his influence.

“He’s highly respected because of his achievements but also because of how he handles himself. He’s a great role model.

“I brought him in to get us through the Champions league group phase and then help out with others.

“He gives Broonie [Scott Brown] some support and he loves it up here. His family have settled into life up here. We’ll discuss the next phase of his career soon but I 
know he’s very keen on the coaching side.”