Kieran Tierney has claimed who Celtic’s underappreciated star is ahead of their match against Red Bull Salzburg.

Celtic are preparing to face the Austrians in a Europa League crunch match this evening at Parkhead. The Hoops need only a draw to qualify for the last-32 of the competition, which would be a terrific achievement given the quality of Red Bull Leipzig and Salzburg.

In order for tonight to be a success, however, they will need several of their top stars to be on their game. One of them is Tierney, and another is the man he can’t help but praise.

Callum McGregor has made a huge impact at Parkhead over the last couple of years (Michael Steele/Getty Images)

In an exclusive in-house interview with the club, Tierney confirmed who he believes is Celtic’s unsung hero.

“I wouldn’t say under-rated, but I think it took people a while to realise how good Callum McGregor is.

“From the day I went first-team training with him, I knew he was a brilliant player

“Now, everyone has realised how good he is. He’s a top performer in Europe for us, he’s got some big goals in him, and it’s great to see him getting the credit he deserves.”

McGregor underrated no more

Despite the praise from his team-mate, Tierney is right to say that underrated is the wrong word.

It was certainly a phrase you could’ve given to McGregor back a year or two ago when he was performing without the appropriate recognition in Brendan Rodgers’ first 18 months in charge.

Now, however, nobody can stop singing the praises of the Hoops star. McGregor has made 32 appearances so far this season for Celtic – 38 including Scotland appearances too.

McGregor and Kieran Tierney are two of Celtic’s most popular players (Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

International recognition is just a sign of the impression McGregor has made on Scottish football fans this term. Many have even tipped him to permanently replace Scott Brown after taking the Celtic captain’s spot in the team over the last few weeks.

It’s clear the progress he’s made over the last two years. Tierney has recognised it as has the rest of the country.

He’ll be tasked with playing a starring role tonight at Parkhead. But he won’t be doing it as an underrated star.

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