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Gustaf Lagerbielke could be in line for a swift Celtic debut after Stephen Welsh suffered a knock hours after his new four-year contract was announced.
The Swedish central defender signed on Wednesday and could face Kilmarnock in the Viaplay Cup on Sunday after Cameron Carter-Vickers was ruled out with a hamstring issue.
Midfielder Reo Hatate will also be missing in Ayrshire after picking up a calf problem.
Welsh made his first appearance in 10 months when he replaced Carter-Vickers at Pittodrie but his chances of getting an extended run have been placed in doubt.
“He picked up a little bit of a knock today which is a shame for him considering he has just signed his deal,” boss Brendan Rodgers said.
“But I am really pleased for him. He is a guy that loves Celtic, loves playing here. He has been a great player within the squad over the last number of years. Maybe not played as much as he would have liked but his heart is very much here and I am delighted for him that he has committed to signing.”
Rodgers did not know how bad the knock was and did not give many details on Carter-Vickers and Hatate other than ruling them out of Sunday’s game. Celtic host St Johnstone in their next league match before travelling to Ibrox on September 3.
Rodgers said: “We just have to assess them and see how they are over the coming weeks.”
Lagerbielke played his final game for Elfsborg last Sunday, leaving them in pole position in the Swedish top flight after 19 matches after Celtic targeted him as a replacement for another Swede, Carl Starfelt.
“He has been playing so fitness-wise he is fine,” said Rodgers, who declined to comment on reports linking Celtic with moves for Wolves winger Daniel Podence and Newcastle’s Ryan Fraser.
“He is a highly-rated young player and I am looking forward to seeing him play.
“The club have a great pipeline of players in place. There is always a plan if someone is to move on so he is one who has been looked at for a long time.”
Speaking before his injury, Welsh declared he was looking to “kick on” under Rodgers.
The 23-year-old’s previous contract was due to expire at the end of this season and it looked like his time with his boyhood club might be nearing an end when he struggled for game time under previous boss Ange Postecoglou.
The Celtic academy graduate has been linked with moves away from Parkhead in recent transfer windows but Rodgers spoke highly of him after Sunday’s 3-1 win at Pittodrie.
“Signing a new contract for the club that I’ve been brought up on and have supported my whole life was, for me, an easy decision,” Welsh told Celtic TV.
“It’s time for me to kick on now and hopefully I can have a few good seasons. I want to keep improving and continue to play as many games as I can, especially with the manager in now. He’s been massive for me since he’s come in.
“He’s one of the main reasons that I want to be at the club and I’m just looking forward to starting the season properly and going for it.”
Welsh has made 53 appearances for Celtic since his debut in February 2020 and will compete for a centre-back berth with recent signing Maik Nawrocki as well as Carter-Vickers and Lagerbielke.
“At a club of this stature, competition for places is going to be everywhere, all over the pitch,” he said. “So for me it’s natural to keep working hard, keep improving and show that the manager can trust me to go in and play.
“Thankfully he’s done that so far and now we’ll look ahead to the season and hopefully more opportunities to come. To be at Celtic is all I can ask for and I will give 100 per cent to the club and hopefully do everyone proud.”
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