'Measured’ Rogic won’t be cajoled into chasing Celtic exit, says Irvine


Tom Rogic won’t be coaxed by critics into pushing for a move away from Celtic and will do “what’s best for himself”, according to ex-Parkhead teammate and fellow Socceroo Jackson Irvine.

Calls for the playmaker to look for a new challenge elsewhere have become increasingly shrill as Hoops coach Neil Lennon continues to leave Rogic, 27, on the Parkhead periphery.

To further fuel the debate, he didn’t even make the match-day squad for last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock.

Socceroos assistant Rene Meulensteen and Australia great Mark Schwarzer have publicly counselled Rogic to chase a move.

However Irvine - who made a single senior appearance in over three formative football years with the Glasgow giants - isn’t joining the clamour for Rogic to re-assess his future.

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Jackson Irvine in action for the Socceroos
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“Whatever Tom does, for sure he’ll be closely considering everything, every factor,” said Irvine.

“I haven’t spoken to him lately and I don’t know so much about his situation.

“People will say things about what he should and shouldn’t do.

“But Tom’s an amazing player and a top professional and I’m sure whatever decision he makes will be very measured.

“Celtic are going for 10 (Scottish Premier League titles) in a row and people outside Scotland probably don’t understand what that means.

“But people who’ve played in Scotland and the fans there know what’s at stake.

“Who knows when something like that will happen again? Tom’s been a big part of things there (in recent years).

“If he stays - amazing. Whatever else happens I’m sure he’ll have considered all the options before he makes that call. He’ll do what’s best for himself, I’m sure.”

A free agent after his contract wasn’t renewed by relegated Championship side Hull City, Irvine, 27, is expected to remain in England.

But after spells with Kilmarnock and surprise early-season SPL leaders Ross County after Celtic, he remains an avid follower of the Scottish game.

And Celtic are front and centre of that.

“Tom’s situation aside I think there’s sometimes a misconception over what it means to play for Celtic,” he added.

“I saw (former Melbourne City coach) John van’t Schip commenting on Daniel Arzani going there and saying it was the wrong place for him.

“In Daniel’s case it was purely an injury there in his first game and you can’t account for that.

“I enjoyed every minute of my time in Scotland - and especially if you have a chance to play for one of the big boys, I’d never tell anybody not to go.

“Celtic made a massive impression on me - I still watch them every weekend whenever I can. All my friends and family up there are Celtic fans.

“It’s the kind of place that stays with you.

“Even as a youth player I remember playing in an Under-19 final against Rangers and there were over 10,000 there.

“It’s just a different world. I would loved to have made a career there for myself but the timing wasn’t right. I probably wasn’t quite ready.”

Irvine made his debut during Lennon’s first spell in charge in 2012, and it was the Northern Irishman who brought Rogic to Scotland a year later.

“He saw the talent he possesses - and whatever happens this season he’ll have a part to play because he’s just got too much to offer,” added Irvine.

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Tom Rogic celebrates with his Socceroos teammates
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On his own future, Irvine is hopeful of finding a new home soon.

His agent, former Socceroos midfielder Vince Grella, has been in dialogue with several clubs but Irvine said “nothing concrete” had been resolved yet.

“I feel like I’ve built myself enough of a reputation in the game, at club and international level (to attract strong interest),” he said.

“I think I’ve been consistent, not just in terms of performance but in the reliability in my body.

“I’m pretty robust and can get through a lot of games and that’s hopefully something teams will look at.

“Conversations are ongoing but I’m waiting for that definitive opportunity to appear.”