John Collins believes that Celtic still need to delve back into the transfer market in order to replace captain Scott Brown.

The Hoops now have a host of options to potentially replace the Parkhead legend in the summer. Ismaila Soro has thrown himself into the driving seat with a series of aggressive displays stretching back to December. Liam Shaw has also recently been signed on a pre-contract from Sheffield Wednesday.

You then have the likes of Luca Connell, Scott Robertson, and Kerr McInroy in the academy ranks. There are a fine list of potential prospects there that will be eyeing up Brown’s spot should he pack it in this summer.

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But Collins still believes Celtic need to go shopping in roder to find an immediate and competent replacement.

Speaking on Sky Sports Main Event [21/02, 7:18pm], Collins said: “He knows the position well, he’s played it for well over a decade as a number six. But I’ve said it before. He’s 35 going on 36. He’s not the future. Celtic have to find a replacement in the summer transfer window for Scott Brown.

“Because it’s such an important position in the team – sitting in front of that back four. You’re a play-maker when you’re in possession, but out of the possession you’re going right and left protecting that back four.”

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John Collins makes a good point, but Scott Brown replacement must now come from within

Collins is right to point out the importance of the position. If your number six or number eight isn’t on form, the chances are your team won’t have control of the midfield.

However, Celtic surely now have the talent within their ranks to replace Brown immediately. If you ask supporters, many will be bewildered as to why Soro hasn’t been playing more regularly regardless. The Ivorian should be ahead Brown in the pecking order as it is.

Right away you have a natural replacement who appears to already obtain the positives in Brown’s game. Yes, Soro can get dragged out of position too easily. Yes, he can at times press to high and leave the back four vulnerable. But he tracks back extremely well and often recovers from any error made. He also has to be given the time to learn.

Celtic Ismaila Soro

Ismaila Soro: absolute class / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

We then have a host of Lennoxtown youngsters who must be thinking it’s now or never. The likes of Connell, Robertson, and McInroy have always impressed those Hoops fans with a keen eye for the academy talent. Throw in new signing Shaw this summer and it would appear foolish to add another midfielder.

There is of course still a chance Brown could stay on. Despite the fact he’s into the final few months of his contract, there has been no confirmation as to what will happen beyond that. Another year’s extension would hardly be surprising.

However, his team as a first-choice starting XI pick must now be over. It’s time for something fresh, but that doesn’t necessarily mean another man needs brought into the club.

In other news, Crystal Palace are reportedly eyeing up Celtic-linked Eddie Howe.

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