Celtic have a long history with regards to their development of young talent, with current captain Callum McGregor one such figure who has risen from promising academy gem to first-team regular in recent years.
The 29-year-old notably won four Scottish Youth Cups during his time in the youth set-up, memorably netting a hat-trick in an 8-0 showpiece victory over Queen of the South back in 2012, with that foreshadowing the brilliance he has showcased since.
After enjoying an impressive loan stint at Notts County during the 2013/14 season – where he netted 14 goals in 41 games in all competitions in a side that included a certain Jack Grealish – the midfielder established himself in the first-team following his return to Parkhead, remaining a hugely reliable presence ever since.
The Scotland international has now racked up 387 appearances in all competitions for the Old Firm outfit thus far, scoring 58 goals and registering 68 assists, while winning a plethora of major honours including seven Scottish Premiership triumphs.
The 49-cap gem – who was handed the armband last summer following Scott Brown’s departure – is a shining example to any young hopeful in the Hoops’ academy ranks, with his stellar career thus far showcasing that there is a clear pathway from youth level to the senior side.
One youngster who will be looking to follow in his footsteps and make his way into Ange Postecoglou’s side is fellow midfielder, Ben Summers, with the 18-year-old already on the cusp of the first team despite failing to make a senior outing thus far.
The promising playmaker was one of a handful of exciting prospects included in Postecoglou’s travelling party for the pre-season trip to Austria, with that inclusion a sign that he is certainly in the manager’s thinking.
An attack-minded asset – as McGregor was prior to taking on a deeper role in recent seasons – Summers has already showcased his quality so far this term having laid on four goal contributions in just nine Lowland League games for the Celtic ‘B’ team.
That talent has also been lauded by youth coach Greig Robertson, who suggested the young Scotsman is “beautiful on the ball and aesthetically pleasing”, while one that the club certainly have “high hopes for.”
Robertson also went on to reveal that the emerging gem also shares a likeness for club legend Tommy Burns – a player idolised by McGregor – having previously played a younger version of the iconic figure in a TV series.
It would no doubt be some challenge to reach the heights of both Burns – who played for and managed the Glasgow side – and the current Celtic skipper, although the suggestion is that Summers is certainly a player to keep an eye on moving forward.