New Celtic signings to be 'major contributers' as Ange Postecoglou strike-rate hailed

Celtic's Greg Taylor has backed the club's four January signings to be "major contributers" and continue Ange Postecoglou's high strike-rate in the recruitment department.

Canadian international right-back Alistair Johnston has already nailed down the right-back position while Yuki Kobayashi has looked assured in his two starts covering for a minor injury to Cameron Carter-Vickers. Tomoki Iwata and Oh Hyeon-Gyu have yet to start but both have made encouraging appearances off the bench.

Left-back Taylor, who returned from a month-long injury lay-off to score the opener in Wednesday's 3-0 win over Livingston has seen enough from the quartet to suggest that Postecoglou has overseen another successful transfer window.

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"They’ve settled really well," he said. "You see Oh when he came on, he’s a handful, he’s young and eager and he’s going to bring something to the party. Tommo and Ally have settled in straight away, Yuki, they’ve all contributed already at an early stage and I’m sure that’ll continue as the season goes on.

Greg Taylor celebrates scoring Celtic's opener in the 3-0 win over Livingston. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)Greg Taylor celebrates scoring Celtic's opener in the 3-0 win over Livingston. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
Greg Taylor celebrates scoring Celtic's opener in the 3-0 win over Livingston. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

"The manager has a clear philosophy so it’s easier for the boys who come in because we’ve a set way of playing. We know they’ll give 100 per cent, the mentality of the new guys is outstanding and hopefully that’ll be the case with any other new guys who come through the door.

"We’ve lost boys who’ve done really well for us and it’s important to be grateful for their contribution. But the new lads will be major contributors as the season goes on."

Taylor's sweet strike against Livingston - later added to by Daizen Meada and Kyogo Furuhashi - was his third of the season and took his overall tally to five since joining Celtic from Kilmarnock in 2019.

"Reo [Hatate] did well to pick me out in the box and it was a case of trying to keep it on target. Thankfully it went in," he said. "This is my most prolific season by a long way but that’s only three, so it’s not crazy numbers. But it’s the best feeling in the world when the ball hits the back of the net. I think Wednesday night was the first time I’ve done it here with fans in, so it was nice.

"It was good to be back, any player hates missing games. I was unfortunate to pick up a wee injury but the boys have been outstanding and hopefully we can continue that."

Taylor also showered praise on club captain Callum McGregor who was presented with a special strip before kick-off to mark his 400th appearance for the club – a mark he set in the previous fixture against Dundee United at Tannadice.

"401! He’s unbelievable, he’s a leader, a top player, a top guy," Taylor enthused. "He’s so consistent in every game and he makes it easier for the boys around him. I love playing with him and love having him as the captain."

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McGregor suffered a bloodied nose during the match following a clash with Bruce Anderson but symphathy, it would seem, is in short supply, with Taylor adding: "He thinks he’s broken it but I don’t believe it. I think he just wanted a cuddle but with or without the mask he’s doing all right.”



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