Crystal Palace coach Shaun Derry sings praises of Celtic's Callum McGregor

By David Walton

August 17, 2020

Crystal Palace development coach Shaun Derry once managed Callum McGregor for Notts County, and now he can’t hide his delight at how far he’s come.

McGregor made a crucial loan move back in the 2013/14 season when he was sent down to League One to play with Derry’s County outfit.

The Celtic superstar then came back after featuring alongside Jack Grealish and made an immediate impact for Ronny Deila at Parkhead.

Callum McGregor with Notts County (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Fast forward six years and McGregor has six Scottish Premiership titles, three Scottish Cups, and five League Cups. In addition to that, he’s played 19 times for Scotland and is a constant in Steve Clark’s national side (Transfermarkt).

Derry has watched on with both pride and delight, as he opened up on his admiration for the Celtic midfielder’s ability.

As quoted by the Scottish Sun, Derry said: “I’ve followed Callum since he left Notts County — and it’s been an absolutely fantastic story. Callum’s a brilliant boy and his attitude, as much as ability, has got him to where he’s at just now really.

“Callum had a fantastic loan at  County and I was very fortunate to get the chance to work with him and one other top young talent — Jack Grealish. Look at both of them now, I couldn’t be happier for McGregor and Grealish.

“There was a conviction he would return to Celtic and become a big player for them. Real character too. Callum was out on the training ground longer than everyone else. I’d go out to pick up the cones and bibs after sessions and he was still working on things. But that’s what’s got him the success and status he has now.”

A future Celtic captain in the making

McGregor’s hard work over the last six years has earned him the status of vice-captain at Parkhead. He’s also captained the Scottish national team in the past too.

It’s easy to forget that McGregor is no longer 22 or 23 either. At 27, there’s a genuine strong possibility that the midfielder is set to spend his peak years to the club.

He signed a new five-year contract as recently as November last year. By doing that alone, the former Notts County loanee has put the club in a massively strong position should anyone be interested in him.

Celtic midfielder Callum McGregor / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

McGregor has also been given some telling backing in the past. His manager has already stated that he’s the natural successor to Scott Brown as the club’s future captain (The Herald).

Even Brown himself believes McGregor will be ready to take the Celtic armband when the time is right (Glasgow Live).

And as much as Derry has Celtic to thank in part for his County side staying in League One back in 2014, the Hoops should also tip their hat off to the Palace coach for playing such a strong role in his development.

In other news, Celtic have reportedly slapped a massive asking price onto one of their key men.