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Celtic: Greg Taylor has finally replaced Kieran Tierney

Celtic are currently flying high on the domestic front, with Ange Postecoglou’s side having surged nine points clear at the summit following what’s been a rampant start to the Scottish Premiership season, winning 14 of their opening 15 games in the top-flight.

A key component in that title charge for the champions has been the former full-back, Greg Taylor, with the Scotland international having seemingly kicked on this term after initially struggling to make his mark at Parkhead, after joining from Kilmarnock back in 2019.

Hoops supporters had seemingly been “slaughtering his performances” in his early stint in Glasgow, in the words of ex-Bhoys playmaker Kris Commons, with the overriding feeling among most that he simply wasn’t of the quality of the man he had been tasked with replacing, Kieran Tierney.

As Commons more recently noted, Taylor had been handed a “raw deal” by being routinely compared to his compatriot – who left for Arsenal for a club-record price of £25m just over three years ago – with it something of an “impossible task” trying to replace the former Celtic Park hero.

Tierney had developed such acclaim following his impressive displays for the club after emerging from the youth set-up, going on to rack up 45 goal contributions in 170 appearances for the Old Firm side from his defensive berth, while winning a plethora of major honours in that time.

The Isle of Man-born machine was notably part of the side that went unbeaten under Brendan Rodgers during the 2016/17 campaign, with the current Leicester City boss having heaped praise on his “unique” asset during the Northern Irishman’s time in the dugout.

Trying to replace a ‘unique’ talent is no small feat, although on recent form it could well be said that Taylor has finally begun to fill that void, with the aforementioned Commons even stating that the £15.5k-per-week gem has “stepped out of Tierney’s shadow”, having been “on fire” of late.

The ten-cap gem has improved “insane amounts” since first joining the club, in his own words, with that having been evident by the fact that he has discovered a goalscoring touch so far this season, netting twice in the league to date – as well as laying on two assists.

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That has ensured that the diminutive gem – who pundit Frank McAvennie described as “different class” – now has 22 goal involvements in 104 games for the Hoops, with plenty of time left to try and match Tierney’s impressive tally for the club.

While it is never easy stepping into the shoes of such a beloved figure, at present it looks as if Taylor is beginning to relish that task, rather than be burdened by it.