It's time for the next Celtic captain Callum McGregor to make his mark as Scott Brown exits

By Euan Davidson

March 25, 2021

Callum McGregor will be a different kind of Celtic captain to Scott Brown.

The 27-year-old has effectively been the captain for most of this season. With Scott Brown in and out of the team, leadership has come from the immensely likeable Academy graduate. A regular since the 14-15 season, McGregor has been a stalwart throughout one of the most successful eras in the club’s history.

The natural successor to Scott Brown, McGregor has been moulded somewhat in the outgoing number 8’s image. Yes, he’s more understated than his colleague; less of a shouter, but he has the consistency of Scott Brown. According to WhoScored?, he’s played a staggering 3778 minutes of football.

At 27, he’s already played over 300 Celtic matches. It’s little wonder that we expect it as read that McGregor will be the next Bhoys captain. Scott Brown has already said as much [Daily Record]:

“When you look inside a dressing room, you know that people will follow someone like Callum because he is a top-quality player with drive and belief.

“I give him the respect that he deserves because he goes in and he speaks to all of the lads.

“It’s the mark of a captain that he can easily fall into that role. When he talks before games now, all of the lads listen, which is brilliant.

“Maybe three or four years ago, Callum might have said something and it might not have had the same effect.

“But now everyone knows what he has done in the game and they listen. He’s a top-quality player who speaks very well at the same time.”

Callum McGregor: leader / (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

What Callum McGregor needs to add to his game as Scott Brown leaves

Honestly, a lot depends on what kind of captain McGregor wants to be. Will he change his approach without Broony in the fold? It’s hard to say.

If he wants to be the Next Broony, then he’ll need to commit more to challenges. He’s shown his vocal abilities, specifically against Lille. Having essentially given the French side a goal, he won and scored a penalty minutes later. His roar after slotting the spot kick home spoke volumes.

He’ll need to do more of that, if that’s the kind of captain he wants to be.

Or, he can be the Paul Lambert type. Leading with understated class, Lambert was an excellent Celtic captain. Not necessarily a bawler or a tough tackler, Lambert just oozed calm, responsibility and experience. The amount of silverware won under the former BVB man speaks for itself.

That seems more like the kind of leader McGregor will be. Of course, we’ll never be privy to the Celtic dressing room, but it’s clear Paul Lambert was the kind of leader who did his talking by controlling matches. Given that McGregor is also positionally similar to Lambo in his pomp, the parallels are obvious.

While we will understandably be hurting as Scott Brown leaves, we can take solace in the excitement this might bring. Callum McGregor, barring some kind of incredible intervention, will lead the Bhoys into an unprecedented new era. An academy graduate and bona fide Celtic man.

He’s also coming into his prime. At 27, he has at least 5 years of top-level football ahead of him yet.

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