Ange Postecoglou will face a hefty battle this summer as he seeks to replace some of Celtic’s star players.
While Celtic will miss the defensive solidity of Ajer and the goalscoring feats of Edouard, they will also find the leadership qualities Scott Brown a huge loss.
The midfield titan has joined Aberdeen in a player-coaching capacity, waving farewell to Paradise after an incredible 14-year spell which saw him win ten Premiership crowns.
He was often the glue which held this Hoops team together, combining tough tackling with a frightening personality and a bullish attitude to the game. If you were on the wrong end of a Brown tackle, it usually didn’t end up well for you.
That being said, his time at Parkhead petered out in a rather disastrous fashion. He made sloppy mistakes and was off the pace on a regular basis as he struggled with his 35-year-old body.
Brown had a tireless attitude to football while his leadership skills were second to none. Therefore, replacing him will be an arduous task.
The most natural answer to their problems falls into the hands of Ismaila Soro. The diminutive Ivorian found minutes hard to come by in the back end of the campaign but impressed when he did get on the field.
During a four-match period between the 13th and 30th of December, Soro was given a run in the team as Celtic won all of their matches without conceding. That being said, the Hoops would be foolish not to invest in their midfield options.
One player who could arrive in Glasgow is Bodo/Glimt midfielder Patrick Berg. An unnamed Scottish club have been linked with signing him, but The Scotsman believe that to be either Rangers or Celtic.
He’s been playing under Kjetil Knutsen in Norway, a manager we suggested on Football FanCast would be a good appointment for the Hoops.
Renowned for playing attacking football, Berg doesn’t often receive praise for his efforts in the Norwegian club. However, the midfielder is often the player who makes Bodo/Glimt tick, starting attacks from deep and possessing an eye-catching set of defensive attributes.
Described as an “excellent water carrier” by Bhoys Analytics, the 23-year-old is composed in possession and always looks for the forward pass.
When it comes to replacing Brown, he is also adept at making tackles. During Bodo/Glimt’s title-winning campaign in 2020, Berg produced 2.2 successful tackles and 1.5 interceptions per match. He has started the 2021 campaign in a similar light, winning two challenges per game.
Berg might be small for a defensive midfielder but he has strong acceleration to get him out of trouble and is extremely positive.
This would be a shrewd addition from Postecoglou if he brings in the Norwegian midfielder as Brown’s long-term successor.