One of the most intriguing aspects of Celtic’s 2-2 draw against Lille in the Europa League was something that night have gone overlooked at the time.

It was a late substitution made by Neil Lennon, in the 81st minute, which saw Scott Brown, the Hoops skipper and mainstay, replaced by youngster Ismaila Soro.

Made only third Hoops appearance

That was a bit of a surprise, especially when you consider that Soro, who joined the Hoops in January, has rarely featured for the club. Indeed, that was only his third ever appearance for the Hoops.

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Soro did reasonably well in his cameo role. He showed with a thundering challenge that he wasn’t afraid to put a challenge in. Indeed, it was one that Scott Brown would be proud of.

However, what the substitution may really have shown is a glimpse into Celtic’s plans for the future. Brown isn’t getting any younger. Indeed, his contract expires at the end of the season. It is up for debate if he will sign a new one.


Celtic will need a new defensive midfielder to replace Brown sooner rather than later. Soro could well be that player. The plan could be for Soro to take Brown’s place in the side from next season.


Good for player’s prospects that he featured in vital game

Obviously for that to happen Soro will need more playing time. However, it is a good start for the player’s prospects when he is entrusted to help the Hoops in the last 10 minutes of a vital Europa League fixture.

Scott Brown in action against Rangers

Scott Brown in action against Rangers (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Maybe we will see Soro replace Brown on a regular basis throughout the season. That would seem like the logical thing to do. It would also be good to see Soro get a start for the Hoops at least a few times this season, ideally in Brown’s place.

The Betfred Cup tie next month would seem to be an ideal chance for that to happen. Only time will tell if Soro does turn out to be Brown’s long-term replacement at Celtic. However, it is a good sign for the player that he was involved in such an important game.

In other news, Diego Laxalt set a Europa League record against Lille.


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