Undoubtedly, Scott Brown at Celtic has been the captain everyone dreams of having at their club.
Even at 35-years-old, the Scot brings such presence to the Hoops midfield and will be sorely missed come the summer. Despite this, the winds of change are upon us at Parkhead. Rather than fearing structural alteration, we should embrace it on and off the field.
Brown still has a part to play this season, particularly on Sunday in the Scottish Cup derby clash at Ibrox. However, four Scottish Premiership league fixtures of little material significance remain for Celtic. Ismaila Soro is the only current replacement for the captain, meaning the Ivorian needs game-time in order to ready himself for 21-22.
Soro has proved his worth for the Celts in his 16 Scottish Premiership outings this campaign [Transfermarkt]. In spite of concerns over his passing accuracy, the former Bnei Yehuda man has achieved a pass success rate of 90.1% in the Scottish Premiership [WhoScored]. Put into context, aside from fleetingly involved team-mates Armstrong-Okoflex and former Bhoy Cameron Harper [WhoScored], he completes the most successful passes on average in the entire squad.
Ismaila Soro averages more tackles per 90 minutes than Brown, showing he can be trusted to break up play
This piece is not meant to be comparative, as both are great players who offer fantastic quality. Fundamentally, someone stepping into the Brown role needs to show they can be trustworthy. The young midfielder has all the tools to be a great player in the Hoops for years to come.
Making 1.9 tackles per 90 minutes [WhoScored], the combative 22-year-old averages more inteventions per game than Brown who has 1.3 [WhoScored]. Breaking up play is a pivotal component of the anchor-man duty. Soro should thrive in this environment come 21-22.
Unusually, Celtic face the prospect of playing in high-profile encounters with no tangible consequence other than loss of pride. The Rangers fixture is a must-win as ever [BBC], though surely, he needs to be thrust into these powder-keg clashes in order to develop?
As for Aberdeen, Hibernian and St Johnstone [BBC], they are be important post-split fixtures in regards to winning momentum. Nevertheless, Celtic should be able to take results from these games even when utilising squad depth. Soro needs an opportunity to get a run in the side ahead of next season.