If there was a game that Neil Lennon could have scheduled in his dream, then a home clash against bottom side Hamilton on Wednesday night would have been the one.
In the disastrous form that Celtic have been in – they headed into the game at Celtic Park off the back of no wins in their last four – a win was just desperately needed, and goals from Odsonne Edouard and Leigh Griffiths were enough to claim all three points.
But whilst the two strikers got their names on the score-sheet, it was arguably Ismaila Soro who stole the show with his industrious performance in the middle of the park.
He won an incredible 13 duels on the night, almost triple his season average of 4.5 per match in the Scottish Premiership this season. His tigerish display saw him make an impressive eight tackles too, which was the same amount as the rest of his Celtic teammates combined.
But it wasn’t just his defensive work that really stood out, with his quality on the ball growing week by week. He boasted a 96% pass accuracy was the highest of any outfield player, and he was efficient when trying to go long too, completing eight out of his nine long passes – again the most of any Celtic player.
Speaking after the Hoops’ win on Wednesday night, Lennon said: “He was very, very good. Real drive and reading of the game and his passing was very crisp.
“He tired a little bit toward the end, but it was a great all-round midfield performance from him. The midfield dovetailed well, the two strikers got the goals and kept a clean sheet, so it’s been a good night’s work.”
With Jeremie Frimpong gone, and Celtic in the middle of a crisis not seen in many a year, they need someone to build around for the future. And at just 22, Soro seems to fit the bill perfectly.
He’s started the last nine games in the Scottish Premiership for the Hoops, and has made that holding midfield position his own, easing out Scott Brown in the process.
The £2m Soro is the future, and his powerful display against Hamilton showed he should be Lennon’s go to man in the middle.
Meanwhile, Celtic must unleash this rarely-seen ace…