Celtic defender Greg Taylor relishing to increased competition from new January arrivals after making injury return

Greg Taylor has signed a new deal with Celtic.Greg Taylor has signed a new deal with Celtic.
Greg Taylor has signed a new deal with Celtic. | SNS Group
The left-back returned from an 11-week lay-off with a shoulder injury against Dundee United on Sunday

Greg Taylor admits he is not concerned that Celtic are set to sign a new player in his position, insisting increased competition for places will help the team improve.

The Hoops left-back returned from an 11-week absence during their 3-0 win over Dundee United on Sunday after requiring surgery on a shoulder problem sustained in September.

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Greg Taylor lies on the ground in pain during Celtic's 3-0 win over Ross County. Picture: SNSGreg Taylor lies on the ground in pain during Celtic's 3-0 win over Ross County. Picture: SNS
Greg Taylor lies on the ground in pain during Celtic's 3-0 win over Ross County. Picture: SNS

Manager Ange Postecoglou confirmed he would be a “fool” not to return to the Japanese market following the success of striker Kyogo Furuhashi and one position the Australian is eager to strengthen is the left side of defence.

There has been rumours Postecoglou is plotting atriple raid on the J-League, with versatile defender/midfielder Reo Hatate of Kawasaki Frontale heavily linked with a move to Parkhead in January.

However, Taylor, who signed a contract extension until 2025 last month, claims he won’t pay any attention to transfer speculation that could threaten his position in the first-team.

He said: “There’s always going to be competition in every place, given the size of this club.

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“It’s normal. Every player needs to relish it and hopefully it brings the squad stronger.

“We’ve got so many games there’s no time to check what is being said. We’ll be linked with a number of players. Some will be true, some will be false. It’s part and parcel of the game.

“We do look forward to having extra reinforcements and it’s a strong squad as it is. There’s a lot of boys pushing to play already in the building.

“If we add to that it will be more competition and it can only improve us.

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“Competition drives the standard through the roof. Even if it’s in training, the manager is a big believer in that.

“Even for the boys who aren’t playing, the training has to be right throughout the week. It keeps the levels high for the game on the Saturday.”

The former Kilmarnock man, who joined the Hoops in 2019, was delighted to return to competitive action at Tannadice and is enjoying the changes Postecoglou has implemented since his summer arrival.

Taylor admitted: “I’ve been here for two-and-a-half years now and I love it here. I love playing for the club.

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“There’s pressure every week but the type I enjoy. I was desperate to be back out there. For the 11 weeks I was out it was tough to watch.

“The manager has been difference class since he came in, especially for myself. It’s been a new way of learning to play and one that I’ve really enjoyed.

“There’s nothing worse than being on the sidelines and thankfully the boys have put in a good run while I’ve been out injured. It was nice to continue that when I returned on Sunday.”

Postecoglou had been forced to play right-back Josip Juranovic in an unfamiliar left-back role during Taylor’s spell on the sidelines but his return to the first-team fold is a timely boost due to the number of games still to be played prior to the winter break.

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