Eboue Kouassi has become the seldom-seen kid since joining Celtic from FC Krasnodar for £2.8m 12 months ago. The 20-year-old has made only four starts for the club during that time but manager Brendan Rodgers has no doubt that he will prove to be a major player for them in the years to come.
Indeed, the Irishman believes that Kouassi is the obvious successor to Scott Brown in the screening role in front of the champions’ back four which also explains why he has not featured more often and why he may be sent out on loan to gain more experience.
“Eboue was brought in and he plays a specific role; the Scott Brown role,” said Rodgers. “It just so happens that Scott is the captain – who’s been brilliant – so it’s been difficult for Eboue.
“Browny is one I’ve taken out the odd time, bringing Eboue in, but there’s no doubt he hasn’t played a number of games. That’s not because of him, it’s because of the form of our captain.
“Eboue’s one who is brilliant in training, he does everything and, longer term, he will certainly fulfil that role when Scott moves on.
“But, while we wait for that day, we need to ensure Eboue is developing and improving. That might mean game time in the second part of the season. He needs to be playing. We’ll see in January but you need to weigh it up.
“It’s a bit like Kristoffer Ajer last season. We can keep him about the squad but he might not play so much. If he goes out and plays somewhere else it will improve him. In Eboue’s case, I’m not sure of the benefits of being around if he’s not going to play so much.
“Does he go and play 20-odd games somewhere in the second half of the season and then come back in the summer?”