As the seasons tick by for Celtic, so many players walk through the exit door at Parkhead in search of a better pay packet across Europe.
Take Victor Wanyama, Virgil Van Dijk, Moussa Dembele and Kieran Tierney for instance; all of the aforementioned names have gone on to have successful careers in Europe’s top five leagues.
The duo would be a huge miss and a massive loss to any new manager. Edouard is the club’s top scorer while Ajer has been the glue that’s held a distinctly average Hoops backline together. If he left, their record in that department would surely only get worse.
With their stronghold over the SPFL now finished, it’s evident they’re missing some of the players that have departed.
Diego Laxalt has struggled for consistency and lacks the desire of a certain Tierney. That being said, we were starting to see shades of the Scottish full-back in Greg Taylor.
The left-back is currently out injured but has had a fantastic few months in a Hoops shirt. In his last seven starts for the Hoops, he has won 16 tackles at a rate of 2.2 per game. In Taylor’s last ten outings, he has provided 21 key passes at a rate of 2.1 per match.
Strong in the tackle and relentless in his energy going forward, he’s proving to be a fabulous asset for the Glaswegian side.
Though, he could get even better and replicate the achievements of Tierney if Celtic hire Steve Clarke.
The 57-year-old is one of a number of names linked with the hot seat and has been on their radar for a while. Kris Commons told the Daily Mail two years ago that he’d make a perfect Brendan Rodgers replacement, suggesting the Scot had a “remarkable gift.”
Indeed, he’s taken Scotland to their first major tournament since 1996 and took Kilmarnock to third place domestically before being handed the reins to the national team.
He was the man to give Taylor his debut for Scotland and it’s no surprise to see why based on their relationship at Killie.
The 23-year-old broke through under Clarke at Rugby Park, eventually playing 73 times before his switch to the Bhoys. He was a major reason behind the club’s eye-catching defensive record. In the 2018/19 campaign, they had the third-best defensive tally behind Celtic and Rangers.
Clarke is renowned for being adept defensively and that could be incredibly beneficial for Taylor, someone whose first thought is usually, ‘how can I get forward?’
Taylor admires the Scotland manager massively. Speaking about his influence towards the back end of 2019, he commented: “I worked with the gaffer for two years before he took the job and I can’t sing his praises highly enough.”
Taylor concluded: “He’s a top, top manager and I think the boys are starting to slowly but surely see that. Winning games always helps, I said that when he first came in with Kilmarnock and I will say it now”.
Clearly, the mutual understanding is already there. Add the fact that the defender is now a number of years wiser to the fact he’s improving all the time and you have a certain recipe for success.
Celtic have undeniably missed the rampant Tierney in the last few years but a partnership of Clarke and Taylor could reinvigorate the Hoops’ left-hand side.
To reiterate Commons’ words, the Scotland boss has a remarkable gift, one capable of extracting the very most from his players; that includes Taylor.
He is very much Celtic’s Tierney heir in waiting.