Three Celtic players who need to impress Brendan Rodgers, including one-time prodigy and summer signing

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers celebrate winning the final with the trophy

Celtic's fixture list is enough to stretch even the strongest of squads, so Rodgers will need to consider bringing a few in from the cold.

With Celtic comfortably clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership, and the prospect of nine fixtures between now and the New Year, what better time for Brendan Rodgers to blood some of his squad’s lesser used members.

But who needs to make their mark in the coming month?

Nir Bitton

With Stuart Armstrong and captain Scott Brown back to their best under Rodgers’ stewardship, that hasn’t left a whole lot of room for Israeli international Bitton in the engine room. Linked with Arsenal just a few months ago, the smooth-passing defensive midfielder has been restricted to a substitute’s role this season, coming off the bench in the latter stages of the League Cup final win against Aberdeen.

Celtic's Nir Bitton with Moussa Dembele

Though technically gifted with an eye for the spectacular, Bitton’s languid approach and slow decision making has started to rankle with some supporters.

Christian Gamboa

If you thought the rapid rise of Kieran Tierney from the academy to the first-team may have had a damaging impact on Emilio Izaguirre’s Celtic career, then spare a thought for Christian Gamboa on the opposite flank. The speedy Costa Rican right-back, who rose to fame as his nation defied expectation at the 2014 World Cup, has only started three league fixtures since arriving from West Brom in the summer.

Barcelona's Jordi Alba in action with Celtic's Cristian Gamboa

Then again, being part of a defence that conceded seven times on the way to Celtic’s heaviest ever European defeat against Barcelona in September isn’t exactly a positive first impression. However, the 27-year-old was unrecognisable in the 1-1 draw with Borussia Monchengladbach in Germany and, having put his fitness issues behind him, the only way is up.

Liam Henderson

In stark contrast to his Costa Rican counterpart, Scotland under-21 international Liam Henderson could hardly have made a more immediate impact at Celtic Park. Making his debut at 17 in the latter stages of the 2013/14 season, Neil Lennon was effusive in his praise of the talented midfielder.

And then came Ronny Deila, and out went Henderson’s first-team opportunities. Loan spells at Rosenborg and Hibernian, where he came off the bench to set up the equaliser and the winner as the Edinburgh giants beat Rangers in the Scottish Cup final, means he returned to Glasgow a more experienced, rounded player this summer. Although that hasn’t exactly launched him into the Celtic starting XI, with just three appearances this season.

Celtic's Liam Henderson in action with Inter Milan's Geoffrey Kondogbia

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