While James Forrest understandably took the plaudits following Celtic's stunning 6-0 win at the weekend, Filip Benkovic's display should have probably given Brendan Rodgers just as much satisfaction after a slow start for the centre-back following his summer move to Parkhead.
Benkovic was making just his fourth appearance for the Hoops, but was superb at McDiarmid Park and there should be real optimism that the Croatian could form a brilliant partnership with the currently-inspired Dedryck Boyata.
Celtic have come in for a lot of criticism this term, especially for their apparent defensive frailties, but they have still managed to keep eight clean sheets in their last 10 games in all competitions. Nevertheless, the display suggests that Rodgers now has the potential to put together a fantastic pairing at the heart of the defence.
But Benkovic's excellent performance should leave Celtic feeling concerned heading into January, especially given the latest reports on one of the defender's Leicester City teammates.
Leicester's decision on Barnes obviously has no direct impact on their plans for Benkovic, but it must be noted that the Daily Record reported in September that the Premier League side also have the option to bring the £13 million Hoops loanee back to the King Power Stadium in the winter.
And if Benkovic's performance against the Saints is a sign of things to come, then Leicester will undoubtedly have a decision to make, and if they are willing to recall one impressive loanee, then perhaps they will also be keen to bring Benkovic back into the fold prematurely.
After seemingly stumbling upon a brilliant partnership, it would be a blow for Celtic to lose Benkovic in January. Unfortunately, their own success over the coming months could lead to the setback in this situation.
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