After arriving at Celtic, on-loan from Tottenham, Cameron Carter-Vickers has slowly established himself as a mainstay of their backline. While he got limited opportunities during the start of the season, Carter-Vickers has eventually gained manager Ange Postecoglou’s trust and has been a regular feature of Celtic’s defense. The 23-year-old centre-back now looks settled at Celtic and is displaying his maturity despite his young age.
Celtic’s start of the season in the Scottish Premiership somewhat mirrored Carter-Vickers’, given that Celtic also slowly rose through the table after a string of disappointing results. As a result, Postecoglou’s side are now placed in the second spot in the league, with eight wins, two draws, and three losses in 13 games. Following a recent draw against Livingston, where Celtic dominated the proceedings but were unable to find an advantage, questions were raised of Postecoglou’s tactical decisions. Carter-Vicker demonstrated his maturity and faith in his manager by insisting that they need to believe in their style of play and that it will eventually lead to success. The Hoops bounced back immediately, dismantling Dundee 4-2.
Alongside Carl Starfelt, Carter-Vicker has formed a solid partnership at the back, which has allowed Celtic to claim the best defensive record in the Scottish Premiership so far. They have only conceded nine goals this season.
Let’s dive into Carter-Vicker’s stats from this season in order to understand his impact on Postecoglou’s backline.
While not the tallest defender, Carter-Vickers nonetheless possesses brilliant strength. He also possesses brilliant pace, and his reading of the game is exceptional as well. His defensive stats this season have been impressive with most of the metrics surpassing the league median value. His most noteworthy stats are his defensive duel wins, aerial duel wins, loose ball duels wins, and average recoveries per match.
In addition to his defensive capabilities, Carter-Vickers is adept in his passing as indicated by his pass map. We can see his wide array of passes, both short and long, in his pass map. Many of his long passes into the opposition box carry a high threat. Arguably, Carter-Vickers’ best display came in the match against Hibernian. Not only was he solid defensively, but he also got on the score sheet. He made three important interceptions and nine clearances. His ball distribution was brilliant, while he also moved the ball in the opposition half.
Carter-Vickers’ heat map indicates the areas of the pitch where he is most engaged in. In Postecoglou’s 4-3-3 and 4-1-4-1 system, Carter-Vickers is usually deployed as a right centre-back, who is allowed to drive the ball forward whenever the opportunity arrives. His awareness allows him to judge whether to follow the opposition player or to plug any gap in his side’s defense.
In terms of successful passes, Carter-Vickers is ranked at fourth spot in the league, while his average successful passes per match puts him at the third spot. This season, Carter-Vickers has averaged more than 77 successful passes per match.
Carter-Vickers’ ability on the ball combined with awareness has contributed to the Hoops having the best defensive record in Scottish Premiership so far. If he maintains his current level of form, then he will without a doubt prove to be an asset in Celtic’s charge for the league title.