Lille could easily have been a one-off for Ismaila Soro, and it wouldn’t have surprised you given how our season has been going.
And perhaps after the opening 20-30 minutes or so against Kilmarnock today, those same fears could’ve been building amongst certain supporters once again.
However, it turns out it was anything but a fluke. Soro started against Killie once again after being one of the stars of the show against the Ligue 1 powerhouses last week.
Particularly in the second half, the Ivorian was once again one of the most effective and enthusiastic players on the pitch. His drive and aggression in the challenge helped turnover possession in high areas for Celtic whilst he did plenty of mopping up at the back.
It’s fair to say that it took the Celtic man some time to get used to things against Killie. You can understand that though given the game against Lille was a totally different type of football match.
But Soro was extremely tidy in possession once again today. That’s shown by the fact he had the highest passing percentage mark out of everyone on the pitch. Making 55 passes in total, the former Bnei Yehuda man managed an incredible 94.6% accuracy with his distribution (WhoScored).
One of the more frustrating aspects of Scott Brown’s game has been the amount of clumsy fouls he’s been giving away this season. This was particularly highlighted against Hibernian at Easter Road three weeks ago when he carelessly bundled over Martin Boyle to give away a penalty.
Things have gotten much better in that respect with Soro in there. Granted, he did accumulate four fouls in total this afternoon which may at face value contradict that point. But the truth is not one of them was careless or dangerous to Celtic. When Soro gives away a foul, it’s because he’s aggressively trying to win the ball back and perhaps mistimes a certain challenge. It’s nowhere near the kind of fouls that Brown commits regularly.
Once again he’s managed to impress and looks like the ideal candidate to keep his place for the Scottish Cup final against Hearts next week. And it’s fair to say the Hoops supporters have been showing their love for him on Twitter after he made it two wins out of two starts:
I apologise for all of the Ismaila Soro propaganda today…it’s been a long time since I could love a player this much
— Pierce McDonald (@McD272) December 13, 2020
Not to overreact but Ismaila Soro is the next Kante
— Aaron (@Knoxy2000_) December 13, 2020
When I grow up I want to be Ismaila Soro
— Merry Kris Smith (@Krissysmith94) December 13, 2020
Makalele has an Ismaila Soro poster above his bed
— Conor (@Foley_Me) December 13, 2020
Soro is one tweet about spaghetti away from being my favourite Celtic midfielder ever
— Keigan Cunningham 🍀 (@KeiganC88) December 13, 2020
Celtic have won two games in a row, Soro and Turnbull have been starting, Brown didnt get a minute on the pitch, Duffy scored and we kept a clean sheet.
When do i wake up?
— Kevin Hamilton (@hesinagain) December 13, 2020
Wee soro and turnbull cant get dropped now. Both have been brilliant the last 2 games. Where have they been all season. That lennon stumbled upon picking them is another matter. Another victory and a clean sheet will do👌
— Hoohimthetim™ (@hoohimthetim) December 13, 2020
My mum called Soro "a wee ankle biter" today and she's 100% right. He just appears from nowhere and puts a tackle in. Love him already 😂
— Colleen (@col_cogs) December 13, 2020
Soro's actual play is not the only difference when he plays over Brown. CalMac seems to grow in confidence knowing he doesn't need to cover Brown and gets himself forward like we know he is good at. Multiple benefits to the arrival of Soro so far.
— Tam McKinlay (@tammckinlay9) December 13, 2020