HE may have arrived too late to help Celtic’s Champions League cause, but there was little Carl Starfelt could do about that. The Swedish defender, who will at last link up with his new teammates for training at Lennoxtown tomorrow, is eager to show that he can make an immediate impact now he is here – starting against Hearts at Tynecastle on Saturday night.

In ordinary circumstances, a new signing may be given more than a day or so to settle in and get to know his new teammates before being cast into a vital away fixture, but given the paucity of defensive resources available to Ange Postecoglou, there is every chance that the 26-year-old will be thrown in at the deep end in Edinburgh.

The vital commodity he possesses - his experience - is both the main reason Postecoglou will want him in his starting XI, and the main source of his own confidence that he will be able to handle it.

“It will be nice to meet the team and learn how the team wants to play, to meet the coach and get into everything,” Starfelt told Celtic TV.

“I think everything will happen very quickly since there will be a game already this weekend, so I’m delighted to get going. I’ve been waiting for it for some time now.

“If the coach wants to play me [against Hearts], I will of course play and give 100 per cent, so that’s up to coach whether I play or not. I’ve been training the last few days and I feel ready.”

Starfelt’s short-term goals are clear then, even if one of his long-term goals of playing Champions League football with Celtic will now have to go on the back-burner.

Even so, the club’s chances of at least making the group stages of the Europa League could very well hinge on how quickly he and fellow new arrival Kyogo Furuhashi can adapt to their new surroundings.

“My hopes are, first of all, to get into the team, to know how the team plays and just get a good start,” he said. “It’s always a little bit of adaptation when you come to a new club.

“I want that to be as smooth as possible, and then we have bigger goals – I want to be successful here, for the team to be successful, to win titles, to play in Europe – I want to do all those things. But I need to focus on the here and now, and right now it’s just to get into the group and the team.

“It’s a true honour to be here and to come here to such a big club with such a great history, and maybe the world’s best fans. So, I’m very happy.”

Starfelt did of course have to endure a period of self-isolation before being allowed to come to Glasgow following the agreement of his transfer from Rubin Kazan. It is to be hoped that he found more pleasurable ways to pass the hours than simply watching his new teammates in action, given the period took in the games against Midtjylland either side of the friendly thumping from West Ham.

His frustration around his delayed arrival is therefore is entirely understandable.

“I had to be in quarantine for a time, so obviously it was very tough to see the boys play and not to be able to train with the team and help the team, so I’m very glad to be here finally and I can’t wait to get started,” he said.

Not that those video nasties gave him any cause to regret his decision.

“When Celtic call, you answer and I knew right away what I wanted to do, so I’m very happy that all this has gone through,” he reassured supporters.

Those matches were not Starfelt’s first introduction to the club, however. He has been raised on a diet of Swedish stars succeeding at Celtic, from the iconic Henrik Larsson, to Johann Mjallby and Mikael Lustig. With Freddie Ljungberg in-between, but the less said about that, the better.

And he has also been made aware of what Is expected of him at the club by new Celtic captain Callum McGregor, who has followed predecessor Scott Brown’s example by making a conscious effort to aid the acclimatisation of new arrivals.

“He sent me a nice message and we spoke a little bit,” Starfelt said. “Everyone I’ve been in touch with in the club so far has been very welcoming, so it’s nice that your team-mates help you get into everything.

“Celtic has a great reputation in Sweden. Most people know the history and when you think of Scottish football, you think of Celtic. Of course, we’ve had many Swedish players who did it very well here, and played very good here and played in the national team and did very well, so the club has a very high reputation.

“I didn’t play alongside Mikael in the games, although I’ve trained beside him, but the little I’ve spoken with him, he seems to have enjoyed it here a lot at Celtic, so I hope I will get the same experience.”