Initially deployed as a left back when he returned to the club in 2010, Charlie Mulgrew has found himself as a gap filler in the team. Both for Neil Lennon who re-signed the player and now for Ronny Deila.
He has performed above expectations and landed Scotland Player of the Year during this spell at Celtic Park. At one point Neil Lennon was so high on the player that he would never leave him out even if he was playing poorly.
Whether it’s needing cover at centre back, left back or centre midfield the player has came in and done a job. The first half of last season he was used more regularly in the centre of midfield but an injury to the Scottish International opened the door for Nir Biton who hasn’t looked back since. In the first half of the season Celtic struggled with consistency with Mulgrew in the middle of the park. He was not the only one to blame for this but he noticeably slowed down play in the middle of the park when Ronny Deila was looking for more fluent football. Nir has certainly been able to do this under Deila leaving Charlie out in the cold.
Since he’s came back at the start of this season he has deputised at centre back when Virgil was suspended but with a full squad to choose from in the coming months is their room for Charlie anymore?
His set pieces are always an asset but can he get by solely on his dead ball prowess anymore?
Will the 29-year-old be happy with a bit part role at the club?
Personally I’d keep the bhoy for backup but I don’t see him settling for this. However, if Ronny were to keep him and use him as a pivotal player then I’d have a problem with that as there’s much better options at the club already. He should not stand in the way of others impressing and getting on in the team.
He’s been great for the club on the whole and it would be a shame to see him fade away into the background and leave the club on a low. Maybe it’s time for him to move on and seek a new challenge as he heads into the latter part of his playing career.