Only a few Celtic players are as respected as much as midfield enforcer and club captain Scott Brown is – but at 33-years-old, Brendan Rodgers needs to start thinking of finding a possible replacement when his contract with the Bhoys finally expires.
The Scottish midfielder has a record of 473 appearances for the Hoops and, barring some extraordinary happenings, will break the 500 match barrier next term.
Those are pretty big boots to fill for whoever replaces the veteran in the first team squad, but it appears as though Brown has given his stamp of approval for a man that the club have been heavily linked with signing this summer.
As reported by the Daily Record, the Hoops have been closely targeting Hibernian’s John McGinn as he heads into the final year of his deal, and while he is yet to join the Bhoys, Brown believes he would be a great weapon in Brendan Rodgers’ armoury.
Delivering his rave review, he told the Daily Record: “He has taken Hibs by the scruff of the neck and strolled through most of the games in the Premiership last season.
“He wants to fight, he wants to battle. He’s one of the strongest ones there is. Everyone says you would want him beside you rather than against you. A great left foot, he’s strong, he wants to win the ball back. He also has a goal in him so he has pretty much everything you need.
“John is fantastic. Everyone knows how good a player he is. Whatever happens, will happen.”
While the comparison between McGinn and Brown will surely arise for their style of play, the 10-year age difference means that the Hibs man has a long way off before he can emulate the Celtic man’s record – but playing alongside his fellow countryman could well boost his game.
Learning alongside Brown, and eventually replacing him, puts McGinn on the path to becoming a Parkhead hero – all that is left to do is for Rodgers to settle the deal.