BRENDAN RODGERS has reserved very special praise for Callum McGregor ahead of Celtic’s showdown with Valencia on Thursday.

The Celtic manager has been the one to bring McGregor’s game to a new level after initially getting his chance under Ronny Deila. It’s strange to think the Celtic youth star was once not considered a first-team pick, but the improvement in his game has been fantastic.

Speaking about his midfielder, the Irishman knows wherever he plays Callum; he’ll get a performance out of him.

“The simplicity of Callum’s game is all based on his view of the game. The really gifted players have a view on every position on the pitch.

“I can play Callum as a left-back moving inside, I can play him as a No.10 and he gets a goal.

“I can play him deeper as a playmaker and he can play on the left, coming in to be the extra man in midfield. No matter where he plays he ends up being the best player on the pitch.”

Amazing praise from the double treble-winning manager. We only hope his comments are not a precursor on McGregor suddenly taking up the left-back role on Thursday night – which would be a huge mistake.

McGregor played as a full back at Ibrox and while he played well, the bhoys really missed his influence in the middle of the park. Izzy is still nursing an injury which he should be okay for, and Hayes played at left back on Sunday against St Johnstone with Kieran Tierney being out of action for two months. Let’s hope he’s not tempted to field McGregor in defence just because of his versatility.

It will be interesting to see who Rodgers picks for his starting XI on Thursday.


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