Ange Postecoglou explains why he chose Callum McGregor to be new Celtic captain

By David Walton

July 19, 2021

Ange Postecoglou has explained his decision to name Callum McGregor as the new Celtic captain on a permanent basis.

The Hoops have been on the hunt for a new on-field leader ever since the departure of Scott Brown to Aberdeen this summer. McGregor was previously the club’s vice-captain, and took the armband whenever Brown was out of the team last season.

McGregor has since captained Celtic in several pre-season outings in recent weeks too. Therefore, it’s no real surprise to see the midfielder handed the honour permanently.

Even so, Postecoglou has explained his decision as the official announcement was made today. Speaking via the club’s website, Postecoglou said: “Callum is a player who leads by example, both on and off the park, and he is a key figure in our squad.

“He has been at Celtic since he’s been a boy, he’s come through our Academy, had a loan spell away from the club to gain vital experience, and then returned to establish himself in the first-team. His qualities as a player are there for all to see, and that has been evident over the past few years.

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“He knows what it takes to be a successful Celtic player, and he knows what it means to captain this club, and I’m delighted that he will be wearing the armband and leading the squad going forward.”

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Ange Postecoglou makes no surprises in naming next Celtic captain

Nobody can say this hasn’t been earned by Callum. He’s been with the club since his youth days. Outside of a loan spell with Notts County back in 2013/14, he hasn’t known anything other than green-and-white.

But it’s not just his longevity at the club that’s earned him the armband. It’s his success too. McGregor has made 325 appearances for the club since his debut under Ronny Deila back in 2014 [Transfermarkt].

Throughout the above period, Callum has won six Premiership titles, three Scottish Cups, and 5 Scottish League Cups. That’s not even mentioning his Champions League, Europa League, and international experience either. He’s now a key cog in Steve Clarke’s Scotland squad.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

In addition to all of that, he has experience as a leader too. McGregor was the one who consistently fronted up to media duties last season when the club was in turmoil. He showed bravery, composure, and an honesty with supporters that helped strike a chord with the fanbase.

Granted, nobody can deny there was a worrying lack of alternatives. With Kris Ajer looking like departing for Brentford, there aren’t many natural leaders left at the football club.

McGregor was always the standout. But now that the official announcement is out of the way, we can finally get cracking properly with Callum as our leader.

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