Trying to replace a club icon is particularly difficult, and at Celtic that is no different.
As a dismal 2020/21 campaign came to a conclusion for the Hoops, they witnessed their no-nonsense club captain walk away from Parkhead. That man, of course, is a certain Scott Brown.
He headed to Aberdeen to take up a player-coach role and the individual to succeed his captaincy duties is Callum McGregor.
The Scot has had an excellent start to the season and had one of the best outings of his career in his nation’s colours this week when they took on Austria.
However, there is a sense that one of the many players that Ange Postecoglou brought to the club this summer could eventually become the true heir to Brown’s coveted place in the team.
Although yet to play, James McCarthy will be a big presence in the middle of the park once he’s fit enough. Liam Shaw, their signing from Sheffield Wednesday, could eventually star in that role, while Bosun Lawal has looked promising since arriving in Glasgow.
However, it is two players who were signed before Postecoglou walked in that appeared to stand the best chance before the summer’s arrivals.
Ismaila Soro is candidate number one. At various times last season, he looked like the most natural heir. He was composed on the ball and tough in the tackle, making ten successful challenges in one European outing against Lille.
However, the longer his stay at Paradise has continued, the more his form has deteriorated. Soro’s opening matches of the campaign left a lot to be desired as he lost a whopping ten of 14 duels against Midtjylland.
He was also rash in the challenge when he appeared from the bench against Rangers in the Old Firm before the international break.
With that in mind, Postecoglou should consider finally utilising Luca Connell in the first team.
The Irishman was signed from Bolton back in 2019 but he has never made a first-team outing for the Bhoys. He already had EFL experience with the Trotters when he arrived so it’s puzzling to see him make such a minimal impact in Scotland.
Left out of the club’s Europa League squad list, opportunities look as though they’ll be hard to come by for him.
Once again, this feels like a strange move. Connell was in excellent form during a loan spell at Queen’s Park last season, guiding them to promotion. In the process, the defensive midfielder scored three times and registered five assists.
The 20-year-old was a breath of fresh air to the Queen’s Park side and one goal encapsulated him perfectly. After he galloped forward and then found the net against Edinburgh towards the end of last term, the commentator said that he had a “wand of a left foot.”
With defensive nous and offensive abilities in his locker, Connell surely has everything needed to thrive in Postecoglou’s system. That’s precisely why he should be unleashed.