FROM having too few players to fill their forward positions just a few short weeks ago, Celtic have suddenly gone to the other extreme.

The arrival of Vakoun Issouf Bayo after a £2 million transfer from Dunajska Streda as well as Oliver Burke and Timothy Weah on loan from West Brom and Paris Saint-Germain respectively has certainly been warmly welcomed by Brendan Rodgers.

He was reluctant to let Moussa Dembele leave on the final day of the summer transfer window, even though Lyon had tabled a £20 million bid, due to the lack of cover he had up front. He only relented when the Frenchman took to social media to criticise the club hierarchy and then downed tools in training.

The loss of first Leigh Griffiths and then Odsonne Edouard showed he was right to be concerned about the depth of his squad; he had to field 19-year-old winger Mikey Johnston in attack against Rangers at Ibrox last month.

But Rodgers has now got an altogether different selection headache to the one he had before. How does he give all of his players game time? Isn't there a chance that some will grow disgruntled due to their lack of involvement?

When Edouard and Griffiths return Rodgers will, with Bayo and Weah also on the books, have four strikers at his disposal. He also has five wide men, Burke, James Forrest, Jonny Hayes, Johnston and Scott Sinclair, now. Lewis Morgan looks set to go out on loan.

With nine players potentially vying for just three berths there are always going to be a fair few left disappointed.

Yet, it is unlikely to be a situation which causes the Northern Irishman too many sleepless nights. There are far more positives than negatives to having an abundance of players.

Firstly, the new recruits will create much-needed competition for places and keep regular starters performing at a high level. Forrest has been in a rich vein of form once again this term. However, on the other side of the park Sinclair has, despite the number of goals he has netted, been inconsistent.

Weah showed at the weekend that he can be utilised in his position when he came off the bench and netted in the William Hill Scottish Cup victory over Airdrie at Parkhead. Knowing that somebody can take your place when your standards fall short of what is expected is a powerful incentive to work hard and perform.

The double treble winners also have a busy schedule to get through in the second half of the season. Indeed, next month they will play no fewer than eight times in the Ladbrokes Premiership, Scottish Cup and Europa League. They are sure to pick up injuries and suspensions as a result of that. Players, too, will need to be rested at times.

Having Bayo, who has revealed he isn’t completely fit due to the winter shutdown in Slovakia, Burke and Weah on board also gives Rodgers the chance to field different formations and change his tactics if a game demands it. Could, for example, he play with two strikers? He has done so in the past with positive results.

He put on Edouard for Forrest in the league game against Rangers at Ibrox last March even though his team had been reduced to 10 men with the red carding of Jozo Simunovic. The Paris Saint-Germain loan player combined brilliantly with his compatriot Dembele and netted what ultimately proved to be the winner just two minutes after taking to the field.

Burke has different strengths to Edouard. The 21-year-old’s preferred position is on the right wing. Rodgers admitted it will take time for him to learn how to lead the line. But he showed there on Saturday, when he helped to set up his new club’s opening goal, that he has much to offer in attack.

Ryan Christie alluded to that when he was asked for his thoughts about the new arrivals earlier this week. “Oli worked very hard up front against Airdrie,” said Christie. “He gave us that out ball at times.” Having Burke in the final third, then, gives Celtic the option to go more direct if it is required.

Kelvin Wilson, the former Celtic centre half, played with the 6ft 2in prospect at Nottingham Forest and rates him highly. At a William Hill media event at Hampden last week ahead of the fourth round of the Scottish Cup, he spoke in glowing terms about the damage his former team mate can do on the counter attack.

The Scottish champions are, of course, never going to play that way domestically under Rodgers. Even on the continent their manager is always keen for them to try and produce attractive attacking football. But in games where they are on the back foot his pace and physicality will prove useful. Could be a potent weapon in the double header against Valencia in February?

The quality of a side can often be judged as much by looking at the bench as the team on the park. Opposition teams won’t be able to relax when they cast a glance across to the Celtic dugout and see Bayo, Burke, Weah and Johnston waiting to come on.