Brendan Rodgers explains reasoning for not buying third striker

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has revealed his reasoning for not adding a third quality centre-forward to his squad.

Tom Rogic played up front for Celtic against Rosenborg on Wednesday. Picture: SNS
Tom Rogic played up front for Celtic against Rosenborg on Wednesday. Picture: SNS

The Northern Irishman was left short of options when both Moussa Dembele and Leigh Griffiths were unavailable for this week’s Champions League encounter with Rosenborg.

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The hosts started with midfielder Tom Rogic leading the attack but couldn’t breakthrough the away defence, drawing the match 0-0.

Nadir Ciftci remains a Celtic player but has not played for the club since coming on as a substitute in the 5-2 win over St Johnstone in February, and wasn’t even registered to play in Europe.

Rodgers explained why he’s not added another striker who he feels comfortable playing on a regular basis, but admits he may have to reconsider.

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The four previous times Celtic have drawn the first leg 0-0 in Europe

He said: “With all due respect to Scottish football, you can’t have three top strikers.

“You are not playing in the Premier League or a real competitive league.

“It is equally as tough (here) but in a different way. You cannot bring in another top striker because the dynamic wouldn’t work within the group, within the model of how we play, it is not going to suit us.

“But it is something that we have to look at.

“If Moussa is out until that period and Leigh is up and down with his fitness then of course we would have to look to get one in.

“The idea is to maybe get one other player in before the end of the window but of course this period now between the games is very difficult to get one in.

“I am not one for stockpiling players. I don’t want to bring in one for the sake of it. It needs to be the right quality and needs to be something that is right within the dynamics of the team and squad.”

The former Swansea and Liverpool boss claims the pressure is now on Rosenborg for the return game.

“The game will open up over there,” said Rodgers. “There is huge pressure on them playing at home.

“They will want to show that they are the team with the initiative and so that should open up a little more space.”