Former Aberdeen striker Noel Whelan believes that Celtic captain Scott Brown will lose his place in the side to Ismaila Soro.
Brown on the sidelines?
The experienced 35-year-old has been a regular for the Bhoys over the last 13 years, scoring 45 goals and providing 61 assists in 592 games (TransferMarkt).
Described as “absolutely excellent” by teammate Callum McGregor, Brown has not featured for Neil Lennon’s side since their Scottish Cup triumph over Hearts – and after picking up an injury, he was replaced by Soro in the starting line-up his team’s 2-0 victory against Ross County and their 3-0 win over Hamilton.
Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan believes that Celtic are turning a new corner without Brown as a mainstay in the team.
“Scott Brown is Mr Celtic. He’s been there so long, he’s been their leader,” he said.
“But sometimes when you get to an age that Scott Brown is, I’m not saying he hasn’t got anything to offer because he does throughout the whole club from the training ground to the field.
“You need fresh legs in there at times though.
“Look at what Pablo Hernandez does (at Leeds), when you get to a certain age you share that load out and become an impact player when you need to win a game.
“Now, when you look at Scott Brown that’s the role that he’s playing. You need fresh legs.
“So far this season everyone still needs to prove a point so there’s a lot of pressure on performances.
“It looks like they’ve turned a corner now. They’ve got a bit of confidence, they’re picking up clean sheets.
“Hopefully they’re starting to get that belief back and that consistency that’s needed at a club like Celtic because all the way through this season now players and manager are going to be under pressure and the spotlight.”
Transfer Tavern Verdict
Whelan is right, not only about the emergence of Soro, but also David Turnbull as the duo have both been putting in some impressive performances recently.
Time will tell whether this move with help Celtic can close the gap to Rangers at the top, having been knocked out of Europe with a whimper, but Soro and Turnbull deserve the chance to prove themselves.
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