Callum McGregor’s call-up to the Scotland squad has raised a few eyebrows.
The midfielder has been out for several weeks with a calf injury. He hasn’t been seen since the 1-0 loss in Valencia, and it’s fair to say a lot has happened since that evening.
Celtic have had time to replace the managerial team, win at both Hearts and Hibs, and draw at home to Aberdeen.
Therefore, with a huge game coming up against Rangers at Celtic Park on March 31st, Celtic must manage McGregor accordingly.
Neil Lennon this week opened up on letting the midfielder go away with Scotland. Alex McLeish picked McGregor for games away to the likes of Kazakhstan and San Marino. To sum up – that’s a big concern.
Lennon may believe that a game or two could be good for McGregor, but surely he has to be managed.
The Celtic interim manager, you would hope, has been on the phone to McLeish about McGregor’s availability. It’s difficult to see the pros of McGregor getting two 90 minute games combined with the long-distance travelling after such a long period out.
Celtic must provide appropriate instructions
Celtic have to instruct McLeish on the right course of action here. A couple of half-hours, for example, would allow him to build up some match-fitness whilst not be at too much of an injury risk.
The Scotland manager has proven this season that he likes McGregor. He’s played him an incredible six times for Scotland this campaign alone. Therefore, it’s hardly inconceivable that he does the same again.
McGregor is Scotland’s best midfielder. Therefore, it’s difficult to blame McLeish for being itching to get him in. McGregor isn’t the type of player who would drop out either.
So it’s down to Celtic to make sure Scotland are informed about their instructions for McGregor. Allowing McLeish to have free reign on him would be a dangerous thing to do.
Scotland aren’t up against much. Mcgregor shouldn’t be overly needed. Celtic, therefore, simply have to make sure Scotland are aware of the appropriate plans for him.