"He was everywhere"; Scott McDonald on Josip Juranovic's "world-class" Celtic performance

By Euan Davidson

February 3, 2022

Former Celtic striker Scott McDonald has lauded Josip Juranovic for the “world-class” performance he put in against Rangers.

The Croatian international was absolutely exceptional in a huge match, providing presence, technique and defensive guile. Not only that, he was integral in the build-up to the second goal. Simply put, he was a nuisance for Rangers at both ends for the entirety of the game.

He also had a lot of fun last night. Constantly, he had Ryan Kent in his pocket. Also constantly; he had a grin to offer the English winger each time he foiled him.

Photo by GRAHAM STUART/AFP via Getty Images

Signed for just £2.5m, Juranovic has been an absolutely inspired signing by Ange Postecoglou. Having been linked to a raft of full-backs, it seemed unfeasible to capture Juranovic from Legia Warsaw for the price we paid. And yet, here he is at Celtic, regularly putting in star performances.

Speaking to 67 Hail Hail, McDonald identified Juranovic as his Man of the Match, saying [67 Hail Hail]: “I think he was the player of the match for me, Josip Juranovic.

“The plaudits will go to Hatate himself, but he was up and down, not just with [Ryan] Kent, but even his covering at times… he was just everywhere, for me.

“I thought it was a world-class performance from Juranovic. In the second half, he brings down [the ball] from the sky, on the edge of his own box, he’s just calmness personified.

“And I just thought it was a flawless performance from him.”

Celtic hammer Rangers but it’s just the start of the Ange era | Scott McDonald on 67 Hail Hail

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Celtic hammer Rangers but it’s just the start of the Ange era | Scott McDonald on 67 Hail Hail
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Scott McDonald has it bang on about Celtic supremo Josip Juranovic

For full disclosure, I am a fully paid-up, card carrying member of the Josip Juranovic fan club.

Since Mikael Lustig left Celtic, right-back has been a strange position for us. Jeremie Frimpong was, at times, excellent, and made the Hoops a major profit when he moved to Bayer Leverkusen. He was replaced by Jonjoe Kenny, who had an unfortunate spell in Glasgow.

We’ve lacked real leadership from that position since Lustig left though. Someone with a bit of gallus, but the indisputable quality to back it up.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Josip Juranovic ticks both boxes. Not only is he a delight off the pitch, but he’s an absolute warrior on it. A firm and precise tackler, a great reader of the game and technically excellent, it’s no surprise he plays for Croatia. What is a surprise, though, is what we paid for him.

Well, that’s Legia Warsaw’s problem, not ours. And in this bold new era at Celtic, Juranovic has quickly identified himself as a leader, a charismatic dressing-room presence. Not only that, he is regularly putting in fantastic performances. Last night his coup de grace in Green and White.

It’ll take a while to get us all collectively down from the ceiling, even 24 hours on from last night’s amazing game. When we do eventually calm, though, we’ll remember plenty of highlights and great moments. What shouldn’t be forgotten, though, is just how vital Josip Juranovic was for Celtic last night.

But it’s what we’ve come to expect.

Read more about Celtic full-backs: It’s time to stop underrating Greg Taylor after Celtic man silences £19m winger