Given the fact he’s Celtic’s eight-in-a-row winning captain, it probably goes without saying that replacing Scott Brown is always going to be a thankless task.
However, Neil Lennon’s comments this weekend regarding us avoiding a “disaster” last year really does put the problem of who replaces him into perspective.
Brown has been a major part of the Celtic first-team ever since he signed back in the summer of 2007. However, since being given the captaincy by Tony Mowbray back in 2010, he’s been undroppable in our midfield.
The captain recently said he would play for the club until his legs fall off (Sky Sports). But when he signed his new two-year deal back in January 2019, the captain stated he would likely retire at the end of his current contract (Daily Record).
That would leave him due to retire next summer, and with Lennon stating that it would’ve been a “disaster” had he left the club (Daily Record), things haven’t changed since he signed his contract.
Who is going to step into Scott Brown’s shoes?
When/if Brown leaves in 2021, we’re still no further along in realising a reliable replacement. Sure, you can argue that we won’t sign a player as good as Brown and a player of the same influence around the place.
That’s all well and good, but there has to be a ready-made replacement that Celtic can use and build him up to be the next Broony.
Right now, we don’t have anyone of that calibre who can step in and do the job. There’s Callum McGregor, who will undoubtedly be a future Celtic captain one day. But McGregor already has his place in the team. He was also still in the side at the time Lennon believed it would’ve been a “disaster” had Brown left.
Outside of that, the likes of Olivier Ntcham being here for the long haul is extremely doubtful. Luca Connell, meanwhile, needs more first-team experience before he can command a place in the side.
Ismaila Soro is an unknown quantity of course. It could be the case that he’ll be able to step into Brown’s midfield shoes. But we’ve still to even see him play a game for the first-team yet. Banking on him being the man is ridiculously risky given his slow start to life in Glasgow.
Eboue Kouassi is currently out on loan and doesn’t look like he has much of a future here. So it begs the question – when will we finally see Brown’s replacement step up and halt his exit from being so disastrous?
This is one of the glaring concerns we have coming up in 2021. Just because Brown isn’t leaving this summer doesn’t mean that this shouldn’t be addressed. Granted, until we’ve seen Soro, we can’t say there’s no solution at the club at the moment.
But what there isn’t, as things stand, is a proven one. Celtic desperately need that to change before Broony decides to hang those boots up. Lennon’s comments on him only highlight that fact.