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‘Rodri just the Spanish Kwon’ ‘We’ve been crying out for for years’ ‘Excited to see what he can bring’ Celtic fans Kwon over by debut

Hyeok-kyu Kwon  certainly made a favourable impression on his Celtic debut, coming off the bench for the last 30 minutes of the friendly against Wolves.

With Brendan Rodgers effectively withdrawing his first picks the former Busan Ipark midfielder had the chance to shine as Wolves pushed forward for an equaliser.

The EPL side managed that but it was more of a reflection on an EPL fazed referee than a failing from any of the Celtic players. Matt Doherty won’t reflect on it as one of his finest moments at the Aviva Stadium.

Up against feted and celebrated opponents Kwon wasn’t in the slightest bit overawed by the task, just two weeks after his farewell to Busan in K2.

As first impressions go it was fairly impressive with another 45 minutes appearance assured against Athletic Club of Bilbao on Tuesday the young Korean has the chance to build on his Dublin debut.

Ange Postecoglou tried a huge number of options as a holding midfielder without quite finding the solution although Ismaila Soro was only picked through necessity from Neil Lennon’s wretched handover.

James McCarthy was next up but after a decade in English football the unique requirements of Celtic by-passed the former Everton and Crystal Palace man.

Yosuke Ideguchi and Oliver Abildgaard lasted only a matter of months before Aaron Mooy appeared to be the solution- only to retire on the back of the efforts that he put in to make the World Cup Finals with Celtic left with a taster of his potential.

The job of a defensive midfielder at Celtic is made fairly unique in that you might only be fully required for a dozen games a season- the rest of the time you are likely to be part of a team enjoying 65-75% possession, forcing play on opponents.

Callum McGregor has been accustomed to that throughout his career and adapted as he slipped back into a more defensive starting position without blunting his effectiveness in the final third.

Over the coming months as he shapes his side Rodgers has the opportunity to create a position that will provide added protection in front of his defence in Europe and in the Glasgow Derby while also being creative going forward in the vast majority of domestic matches.

It is a tall order with Kwon, Tomoki Iwata and Odin Thiago Holm the candidates for the position that eluded Postecoglou.

With the pre-season matches almost completed there are very limited opportunities to implement the role but August provides SPFL matches at home to Ross County and St Johnstone which shouldn’t be overly demanding.

Aberdeen at Pittodrie and the Glasgow Derby at Ibrox on September 3 will be very different tasks but ones that Rodgers has successful experience to call on as he attempts to pick up on the incredible success rate of his first stint in charge.

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