The move started with Idah demonstrating that ‘reference’ point that Rodgers highlighted in his post-match comments about the on-loan Norwich City attacker’s debut display as he flicked on a clipped ball from Liam Scales down to O’Riley in midfield.

A quick switch of play from O’Riley picked out Kuhn on the right side where he showed that directness by driving at the Aberdeen defence before drifting inside to exchange passes with O’Riley on the edge of the box.

Just as Kuhn was looking like he was going to be crowded out after receiving the ball back from O’Riley and carrying it into the middle of the box, Idah stepped in to knock a composed pass across into Kuhn’s path.

Arriving behind Idah, Kuhn received the pass with enough time to take a touch before unleashing a shot that took a deflection, ultimately beating Kelle Roos in goal. While the finish may have been somewhat fortunate due to the deflection, it was a direct consequence of Kuhn’s proactive approach.

Cross (75 mins)

Kuhn attempted to transition into a provider role as Celtic pressed for a winning goal, but he struggled to make a significant impact in this regard. While he successfully completed one cross that found Tony Ralston in the box for a knockdown, his other two attempted crosses were unsuccessful. StatsBomb recorded just 0.04 expected goals assisted (xG Assisted) for Kuhn from open play on Saturday.

This is an aspect of Kuhn’s game that may improve with increased playing time. However, it’s concerning that he still outperformed Abada and Palma in this regard despite playing fewer minutes. Neither Abada nor Palma contributed any expected goals assisted (xG Assisted) in open play during the match. Although Palma did manage two key passes, both were from set-pieces and had a combined xG Assisted value of only 0.13.

Defensive duel (88 mins)

During the scouting of Kuhn last month, his defensive contributions weren’t particularly noteworthy. However, in the recent game, he demonstrated significant defensive effort and outperformed both Abada and Palma in this aspect.

Despite entering the game under different circumstances, Kuhn displayed higher pressing intensity compared to Abada and Palma. He executed ten pressures during his 30-minute appearance, one more than Abada managed in 60 minutes and only four less than Palma in nearly 90 minutes (StatsBomb). Additionally, Kuhn was more successful in regaining possession from his pressing, with six pressure regains compared to Palma’s two and Abada’s one. However, Abada and Palma had more counterpressures, with one and six respectively. Notably, Kuhn did not record any counterpressures, suggesting an area where he could enhance his off-the-ball contribution.

Nevertheless, Kuhn’s diligence without the ball was evident in other aspects. According to StatsBomb, he had the joint-highest combined tackles and interceptions in the Celtic team (four), sharing this honor with Canadian full-back Alistair Johnston. In contrast, Palma managed only one interception, while Abada didn’t record any of either. Additionally, according to Wyscout, Kuhn won four out of five defensive duels (80%) and recovered three loose balls. One notable defensive duel occurred in the closing minutes of the match when Celtic defended a set-piece.

When the ball fell to Dons’ goal scorer Miovski near the edge of the box, Kuhn quickly closed down the Macedonian forward and managed to apply pressure, disrupting his attempt. Although Aberdeen attempted to redirect the loose ball towards the goal, Celtic ultimately cleared the danger.

Dribble (90+7 mins)

Kuhn’s assertiveness in one-on-one situations was evident, as seen in the lead-up to his goal. While he could have been more direct in some instances, Wyscout recorded all four of Kuhn’s dribbles as successful. Although not all resulted in immediate goal-scoring opportunities, his willingness to take on defenders was promising.

Unlike some of Celtic’s wingers this season, who have tended to play conservatively with the ball, Kuhn demonstrated an ability to beat his man. With more playing time in the upcoming weeks, it’s hoped that Kuhn’s dribbling skills will translate into creating scoring chances for Celtic.

In one instance, shortly after coming on, Kuhn received the ball on the right and managed to deceive the Dons’ left-back with a clever feint before unfortunately losing control of the ball in the box. Later in the game, Kuhn showcased his dribbling ability again when he received the ball from Liam Scales on the opposite side.

Facing up midfielder Jamie McGrath this time, Kuhn showed an ability to beat his man on the outside. However, on this occasion, McGrath did just enough to stretch and get a foot in to concede the corner. Again though, given Celtic’s poor wing play this season, this further evidence of an ability to face his man up and drive at them was good to see.


Kuhn’s initial appearances in Celtic’s jersey have been promising enough to indicate that he is more than prepared for a starting opportunity, provided his fitness allows. This is especially evident considering the recent performances of both Abada and Palma.

Scoring his first goal will undoubtedly boost his confidence, and although he hasn’t yet translated that into creating chances, his ability to take on defenders addresses a significant gap in Celtic’s wide options this season. Additionally, Kuhn’s off-the-ball work at Pittodrie on Saturday stood out in comparison to Abada and Palma.

The lack of consistent quality from wingers has been an ongoing issue for Celtic this season. Therefore, Kuhn’s emergence, which hopefully continues at Easter Road tomorrow night, would be warmly welcomed by the club and its supporters.