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Rodgers on Rocco

When Brendan Rodgers left Celtic for Leicester City, Rocco Vata was just another 13-year-old Academy kid albeit with a famous Dad, a former Celt.

Second time around and Rocco has a couple of first team appearances to his name, has been capped by Ireland upto u-19 level and approaching a critical season in his career.

After two seasons impressing in the Lowland League for Celtic B the teenager needs to take a significant step forward which means getting regular first team football on his CV.

Ideally that would be at Celtic, with five substitutes available in every game it should be possible but the leap from Lowland League to the demands at the top end of the Premiership cannot be over-estimated. It is a far bigger task than taken on by Kieran Tierney and Callum McGregor in the last decade.

Rodgers gave Tony Ralston and Mikey Johnston opportunities when he was previously in charge and knows the back story with Vata as he explained to the Irish Independent:

I remember Rocco as a young player when I was here last. He’s developed physically. There are aspects of his game that he needs to work on to make the next jump but his attitude is good. He’s strong, quick, he wants to score goals. There is lots of development he needs, if he’s willing to do that.

Those ‘aspects of his game that he needs to work on’ are probably best developed away from Celtic Park.

Getting out on loan to another SPFL Premiership club would be ideal, giving the player and Rodgers the perfect environment to see exactly what stage the 18-year-old is at.

1 min 30 seconds, Vata, assisted assist.

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