Amidst all the online tributes to Scott Brown – all of them deserved – is an odd understatement on the likely consequences for another player in the squad; Callum McGregor. He now looks set to be handed the greatest responsibility of his career.
He has been a superb Celtic player. He deserves the armband.
He deserves to prove that he is the leader of this team.
Of course, I have a selfish interest in this and the club does too; handing him the honour might just be what keeps him here. It will certainly elevate him to the peak of the earnings at Parkhead, and it should do.
With the armband should go a fresh contract, and he should be made to feel like the most vital player at the club.
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Because that’s what he is.
Callum is the one member of the midfield unit who has long been irreplaceable.
Brown had reached the end. Turnbull is too near the beginning. Bitton can go with our compliments, or stay and fight for a midfield berth … he’s replaceable. Soro is a new boy showing us what he can. Christie once looked like someone who could reach Callum’s peak; he has gone backwards.
McGregor, for me, is the best there is.
He could easily go to England and treble his wages; Rodgers would take him in a heartbeat, knowing he’d get into the Leicester first team with ease because he has all the qualities necessary to play there.
But Callum is pure Celtic, and we ought to be looking to keep him here for the rest of his career. It may prove an impossible sell, but give him a new deal and keep him here for the best years of it.
Give him that armband and make him feel indispensable.
On his day there is not a finer footballer in this country … if we were looking like losing him in the summer window that would be an enormous blow from which we would not easily recover.
He has more than earned his leadership role.
With luck it is what will keep him here for years to come.
If you are a Scott Brown fan mourning his impending departure, this is the silver lining.