"Could play top 4 in England"; David Martindale and Malky Mackay left in awe of Celtic star

By John McGinley

March 31, 2023

Ange Postecoglou isn’t the only Scottish Premiership manager full of praise for Celtic midfielder Callum McGregor this week, it seems he’s the talk of the town amongst other bosses in the top flight too.

As we discussed earlier, Postecoglou paid tribute to his captain McGregor in his pre-match press conference today, waxing lyrical about his commitment to club and country. The Bhoys boss’ pride shone through brightly.

It’s one thing getting enormous praise from your own manager, but opponents are lining up to dish out the plaudits too in the wake of what they witnessed in the Scotland victory over Spain.

Photo by Nigel French/Sportsphoto/Allstar via Getty Images

Callum McGregor is worth all the praise

Upcoming Ross County opponent Malky Mackay didn’t hold back his enthusiasm, stating [Daily Record, 31/03 print edition page 54]: “Cal was just phenomenal against Spain. The bit that really hammered it home was when Callum takes the ball 40 or 50 yards upfield with two minutes to go, teases and tricks, and almost nicks Scotland in for another goal. That’s the point I believe Spaniards – and other big clubs – would have been eyebrows raised, asking, ‘Who the hell is that?’ and, ‘Can we sign him?’.

“I’m pretty sure, in any case, there will already have been one or two bids from England in the past that we have heard nothing about. Callum’s chosen path is Celtic, it seems, which he loves. He is an incredible ambassador for the club and for his country in everything he does. He is just the highest calibre of pro, the leader of the club who carries himself so well and just does everything correctly.”

Meanwhile, Livingston boss David Martindale was left similarly impressed, although had a bit of wishful thinking regarding a move down south.

He said [Daily Record, 31/03 print edition page 55]: “I look at that bunch of Scotland players and it’s just phenomenal. McGregor is a Rolls-Royce. I would love to see that lad playing in the English Premier League. I genuinely believe he could play top four, top six in England. He is fantastic.”

As Mackay mentions, McGregor doesn’t seem at all interested in making that switch to the Premier League. It seems he’s chosen the Scott Brown route of becoming an iconic club legend at the Bhoys.

Already racking up an extraordinary trophy haul and a total number of appearances, the smart money is on McGregor continuing the good times at Celtic well into his 30s.

But there should be no doubt about his ability to play in one of the biggest leagues in Europe despite this choice. It’s clear he has the quality in his game, alongside the intangible traits that mark him out as a leader and a winner. Long may it continue!

In other news, Ben Summers shares who looks after him at Celtic training and his current first-team idol.