With Steven Gerrard arriving in Glasgow and seemingly driving the Rangers team towards greener pastures, the onus is on Celtic to maintain their recent dominance through strong recruitment, and nourishing youth talent.
So, with that in mind, we’re going to play Devil’s Advocate and have a slight glance into the future to try and predict what’s to come for the Hoops.
A look to the future – Celtic
Craig Gordon, 35, is in the twilight years of his career and will be expected to relinquish his starting spot in the Celtic squad come five years time. With that in mind, we’re expecting young Conor Hazard to make the step up at some point before then.
Kristoffer Ajer, 20, consistently features in Celtic’s starting lineup since signing from Norwegian club Lillestrøm. At 20-years-of-age, he has a long future ahead of him and is unlikely to be replaced – at least by choice- given his quality and versatility. Boyata, surprisingly, is at the tender age of 27, but is probably enjoying the best spell of his career having represented Belgium at the 2018 World Cup. He never really made an impact outside of the SPL so we’d expect him to still be turning out for the Hoops in years to come.
Keiran Tierney, 21, is one of Celtic’s most prized possessions. He’s attracted the attention of big clubs from the Premier League in recent years so it will be a major test of Celtic’s resolve if they can keep him at the club for the next five years; however, if they do, they will undoubtedly have one of the best, if not the best, left-backs in Scottish football. Mikael Lustig, 31, is a player who might just occupy a space in the starting lineup as a veteran for the club. We’ve seen from Pablo Zabaleta, 33, for example, that age doesn’t necessarily impede ability – even at the highest standard of football.
Olivier Ntcham, 22, looked a class above in Celtic’s recent victory against Rangers. Recently arriving from Manchester City, the French midfielder has quickly cemented his place in the starting lineup and provides a touch of class to proceedings. Like Tierney, if Ntcham isn’t bought by the big clubs in Europe, we expect him to become one of the best in the league. Scott Brown, 33, will likely have hanged up his boots by this point, so the responsibility to run the midfield alongside Ntcham will be placed on Eboue Kousassi. Kousassi, 20, hasn’t had the easiest starts since being labelled as the next big thing. However, with more exposure to the first team and a decent run of games, it is likely he will live up to his potential and eventually replicate the form of Scott Brown.
Mikey Johnston, 19, has recently been described by Celtic manager Brendan Rogers as a “special talent”. With high praise coming from a man who brought through midfield diamond Raheem Sterling, Celtic fans can expecting a similar rise to glory in years to come. Tomas Rogic, 25, is another playing who will be around come 2023, after signing a long term contract recently.
Callum McGregor is another player who has been praised by his boss as being one of the most underrated players in the squad. Providing both goals and assists, as well as unrelenting energy on the wings, the 23-year-old Scot has quite rightly earned himself a place in the future Celtic squad.
Odsonne Edouard, 20, is a fairly new addition to the Celtic squad. Having spent over five years in the French capital playing for PSG, Edouard was bought outright at the start of the 18/19 season, in a transfer the club described as the “biggest in their history”. Known for his speed and ability on the ball, the young Frenchman is lining up to be one of the best players in the squad.
If this happens, Celtic are set for a very promising future.
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