Milan tie is ideal stage for Celtic's McGregor to shine in Europe once more

By John Reid

October 22, 2020

Callum McGregor has had a decent season for Celtic thus far. He has played well in some games – the 3-2 win over Livingston for example – and been poor by his high standards in others – the recent loss to Rangers, for example. He hasn’t been at his brilliant best, which can be said for most of the squad so far this season.

However, that hasn’t stopped McGregor from being earmarked as a key man by Milan coach Stefano Pioli, who was full of praise for the player, as reported by the Scottish Sun.

“He is everything you need”

“One player who has particularly impressed me is the midfielder Callum McGregor. He is a classic modern, dynamic midfielder and excellent technique. He is everything you need” Pioli said, as quoted by the Scottish Sun.

When McGregor is on his game, then Pioli’s comments are completely correct. He has performed very well for Celtic in Europe before. Perhaps it is the ideal stage that McGregor needs to have his best game of the season.

You only need to look back a few years to see some of the big goals that he has scored for the Hoops in European competition.

McGregor scored Celtic’s equaliser in the eventual 2-1 loss to Bayern Munich in 2017, in what was a superb Hoops display. He also scored the winning goal in the 1-0 victory over Zenit the next year, in the last 32 of the Europa League.

Has scored double figures in Europe

Even last season he chipped in with goals in Europe, against Sarajevo and Kaiju. Overall in his time with Celtic he has scored 11 goals in Europe. That is a fantastic record, especially when you consider that McGregor is not technically an attacking midfielder.

Callum McGregor celebrates scoring against Bayern Munich (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

No wonder the Milan coach is a fan of McGregor’s. He is probably fearful that he will score his 12th goal in Europe on Thursday night.

Hopefully McGregor can grab hold of the game in the middle of the park, and drive the Hoops on to a creditable result. He has shown in the past he can do that, now is the time to do it again.

In other news, Neil Lennon has detailed how hard Celtic have worked trying to get Chris Jullien fit.