A key figure in Celtic‘s resurgence over the past year or so has been that of centre-back Cameron Carter-Vickers, with the 24-year-old having emerged as a true leading asset under manager Ange Postecoglou in that time.
Snapped up by the Old Firm outfit from Tottenham Hotspur on an initial loan deal in the summer 0f 2021, the 6-foot-1 ace proved integral to the Parkhead giants’ Scottish Premiership success in his debut campaign, having arguably been the “best player in Scotland last season”, in the words of BT Sport pundit Chris Sutton (05/10/2022, 19:41).
That stunning form has continued this term with the Southend-born talent having kept six clean sheets from his 13 top-flight appearances so far this season, having even taken on the responsibility of the captaincy in the absence of regular skipper Callum McGregor.
Lauded as a “rock” by teammate David Turnbull, the £24k-per-week titan was rewarded for such form with a place in the USA squad for the World Cup, with the 12-cap colossus hoping to translate his club displays onto the international stage.
While the one-time Bournemouth loanee has had to bide his time for a chance to shine in Qatar, having been named on the bench in his side’s opening two group games, the defender was finally offered the opportunity to impress against Iran on Tuesday evening.
The Hoops powerhouse certainly took that chance as he proved vital in his side’s 1-0 victory, helping to steer Gregg Berhalter’s men into the last 16 to set up a mouthwatering knockout stage meeting with the Netherlands.
That outing saw Carter-Vickers notably win 100% of his ground duels and win four of his eight aerial duels, having looked particularly menacing at the heart of the defence, while also recording four clearances in his bid to keep the opposition at bay.
While the impressive gem did lose possession on eight occasions, he was still able to achieve a solid pass accuracy rating of 86%, while also recording a respectable overall match rating of 7.1, as per Sofascore.
That “outstanding” performance – according to transfer insider Graeme Bailey – will no doubt have been no surprise to those of a Bhoys persuasion, with the former Spurs man having been simply “immense” on the night, in the words of journalist Aaron West.
Such an impact may well ensure that teammate Walker Zimmerman ‘may find it hard to get back in this team’, as per 90min’s Jack Gallagher, with Carter-Vickers having arguably done enough to start when the United States meet Louis van Gaal’s men on Saturday.