Celtic’s Captain Shows Us What Love And Loyalty Really Are As He Signs A New Deal

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Callum McGregor has, this morning, become the latest player to commit to the next round of the Brendan Rodgers revolution. He has signed a new five year deal which will keep him at the club, presumably, for the rest of his career.

There is a lot of talk right now about loyalty in the sport, and about players leaving us behind because the big money was “too good to turn down.” Thank God for people like this, people who are earning an excellent living and have a good standard of life but who know there is more to life than how many zeroes are on their bank balance.

Callum McGregor has had chances to leave this club and pursue the mad money. Many people feared he’d do just that when Brendan Rodgers left the first time. Rodgers certainly knew his quality and wanted him to. But McGregor kept the faith, showed his loyalty and stayed to become captain. This is his club now, and what an ambassador he is for it.

This is a great decision by club and player both. There were a lot of us who wondered if Callum had the right sort of personality to step into the big shoes left behind by Scott Brown; doubtless, there has been some heavy-duty personal growth along the way for him as he’s had to make a huge adjustment in that role. But by God, he has done it.

Callum has played for only one other club in his career; before playing for our first team, he spent a brief spell on loan at Notts County, where he blossomed into a very fine midfielder. His quality was obvious to the guy who brought him back and slotted him into the first team; Ronny Deila, who has the distinction of also having blooded Kieran Tierney.

It was Ronny’s first game as boss. It was Callum’s first game for the club and it came in the Champions League against KR Reykjavik. He scored the only goal of the game. That was nine years ago now, which means he’s almost due a testimonial.

The Notts County period means that there will forever be an argument about whether he was a “one club player.” To me, there is no argument. He went there on loan as Celtic’s footballer and came back as Celtic’s footballer. More than 400 appearances later, he is the quintessential Celtic player. This is loyalty. This is what you call love.

I am delighted for him and for all of us, and at the club for making him the latest player to declare his commitment to the cause this season and beyond.

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