Celtic boss Ronny Deila says Derk Boerrigter must prove he can play a role this season.
Celtic boss Ronny Deila says injury hit star Derk Boerrigter must prove himself, .
Boerrigter is due to return from injury this week, but Deila told The Mail he is unconvinced the forward has a role to play this season.
He said: "Derk has been out now for two or three months but I think he’s starting training again on Thursday. He has a lot to prove to me. He has been out a long time
"If he shows in training that he is good enough then we’ll see. But, again, we have to put out the team we feel is best. It’s for him to prove himself."
Boerrigter has played in only three matches this season, featuring for a combined 69 minutes.
Mid-season is a difficult time to launch a comeback, but the training camp in Gran Canaria which Celtic are currently on could be the right environment, acting as a mini-pre-season for him.
The 28-year-old Dutchman must show he can add a different option for Celtic, and one which is better than what they already have.
Celtic are in the midst of a title battle, and have important domestic and continental cup games upcoming against Rangers and Inter Milan.
They cannot afford to slow down to let Boerrigter catch up, and Deila is right to be firm in his approach, perhaps knowing he himself is under pressure to produce results.
If he can't show he is ready to make an impact this season, a loan move or a permanent sale are logical next steps to give the attacker a chance to rejuvenate his career.