Scott Brown epitomises Celtic. The hard-working defensive midfielder is the brute of Parkhead, throwing in tackles with a level of aggressiveness rarely seen anywhere else.
The 34-year-old may be getting on now but he is still a key component of Neil Lennon’s side. Remarkably he has played 50 times this season and is showing few signs of slowing down for the Hoops.
However, there will be a time where he has to call it quits on his time at Celtic and indeed his career too.
Fortunately for Neil Lennon, or whoever might be in charge by the time he hangs up his boots, they have a ready-made replacement.
Last summer, Celtic made moves to sign midfielder Luca Connell. The 18-year-old had featured for Phil Parkinson’s Bolton side last term, appearing on 12 occasions but he has played only twice in the Challenge Cup for his new club this term. He hasn’t registered a single minute in the SPFL or in Europe.
The midfielder clearly has a bright future ahead of him, evidenced by the fact he was playing so regularly for the Trotters last season, but Lennon has been cautious and careful with his development. That being said, reports have suggested he’s blown away the coaching staff in Glasgow and could be braced for more senior-team involvement next season.
A player who can play in a variety of positions, including left-back and left midfield, it’s just in front of the defence that he feels at home. Immediately, parallels can be drawn with Brown.
But most vitally, he knows how to make a tackle, being described as no-nonsense in the Glasgow Times after his arrival. In the same piece, Marc Iles, the Chief football writer of the Bolton News said: “He’s probably happier in front of a back four than maybe playing the number ten role but he has done both for Bolton. He likes to put a tackle in which Lenny [Neil Lennon] will love so he has all the talents to make it.”
Although he still has some experience to gain, those words are incredibly encouraging for someone who could well step into the shoes of the current skipper, Brown.
Connell may not have seen much first-team action in 2019/20 but there are reasons to believe he can be a successful screening for Celtic in the years to come. He is definitely one to watch.