Scottish talent could be key to reasserting Celtic league dominance

By Euan Davidson

May 11, 2021

As Celtic wave goodbye to Scott Brown at the weekend, it’ll be bittersweet.

Bitter, in the sense that it’s not the ending he, or any of us, would’ve wanted. However, it’ll be a chance to reflect on Broony’s illustrious Bhoys career. As a leader and fantastic midfielder, beyond compare, what Scott Brown has done at this club has been incredible.

That said, his departure will give an opportunity. The next generation of Scottish talents in the Green and White could emerge in his place, and that’s an exciting prospect. Now, it isn’t to say for a minute that Celtic need to only look within Scotland, or that Scottish players understand the club more.

This has always been a side with an outward focus. Top talents from all over the world have lit up Celtic Park in their own signature way, and it’d be foolish to even remotely embark on the idea that only Scottish talent can save Celtic. That isn’t what’s being said here at all.

What is being said is that Broony was an investment from within Scotland. He was a player from a distinct generation of Hibs players, including Derek Riordan, Steven Fletcher and more. Around then, there were impressive displays at clubs across what was then the SPL. Now, there’s a similarly talented core of players coming through Scottish academies, including our own, and using some as a focal point for our rebuild might be a fine idea.

Leigh Griffiths: another example / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It’s not just about Scottish talent, but Celtic really ought to look local

Again; scouting foreign leagues and having a diverse squad of talents is key. I’m not suggesting otherwise, and this certainly isn’t a notion of prioritising Scottish talent over better options.

Still though, it’s clear Celtic have eyes on a few targets around the Premiership who could provide – at the very least – high quality squad options. At left back, there’s Josh Doig, SWFA Young Player of the Year. Yet another potentially generational left-back talent, Hibs will be fielding calls from all over the place for the Scottish defender. The Bhoys need to be at the front of that queue.

Hibs also boast Ryan Porteous and Kevin Nisbet, who would immediately boost our centre-back and centre-forward options. Given the success we’ve had signing strikers from Hibs, it’s a bit bizarre that Celtic haven’t been more publicly interested in Nesbit. Porteous, meanwhile, gives the defence some grit and bite, and at just 22, has decent potential.

Ali McCann is another name linked with Celtic; someone whose metronomic movement of the ball has shades of Broony. Tentatively linked with the Bhoys after a scouting mission by Tosh McKinlay [Courier], he’d join a crowded midfield but has genuine quality. In a more combative sense, Motherwell man Allan Campbell may also represent an astute investment. Making almost 2 tackles a game in midfield [WhoScored?], the Steelmen midfielder is not a glamorous player, but he breaks up attacking movement and isn’t afraid of getting shots away, either.

It’s not just about the possibility of transfers, though. After impressive loan stints, the likes of Ewan Henderson could be in line for more action. Rawer, perhaps, but still promising are the likes of Ewan Otoo and Kerr McInroy. Adam Montgomery, Owen Moffat and Dane Murray have been nearer the first-team in recent weeks. A good pre-season might see them in contention.

The point is, we should definitely be scouring Europe and further afield for promising names. That was the case, and should be, going forward. However, we need to remember that the last era of Celtic dominance has heavily featured players we’ve snared from around Scotland, Scott Brown being the prime example.

We know it works.

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