Celtic have secured back-to-back Scottish Premiership titles, but who were the key players in Ange Postecoglou’s side?
The Hoops dropped just seven points on the way to clinching this season’s title, with 20 different players scoring as they close in on a record points tally.
We tasked former Celtic striker Andy Walker with the job of picking out five key players from the title-winning team, and it proved to be a tricky challenge.
“I’ve narrowed it down to five but so many others could have been on that list,” he told Sky Sports.
“An example of a player who is much improved under Postecoglou is Greg Taylor. He is very comfortable receiving the ball and often playing killer passes.
“You can tell he has had experience of playing in the middle of the park given how relaxed he looks in a crowded part of the pitch.
“Joe Hart has made important saves at critical times and it will be interesting to see if he will still be Celtic’s No 1 next season.”
Walker eventually managed to narrow down his selections…
Calum McGregor may well be the captain of Ange Postecoglou’s side but the leader at the heart of the defence is undoubtedly their dominant American, Cameron Carter-Vickers.
At a cost of £6m, he has proved to be a natural leader and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets nominated as a player of the year.
It is not often he loses out in any physical battle but, given the way Celtic play with their full-backs very often further up the pitch, he takes great responsibility in defending any one-vs-one contest that he might have with his immediate opponent.
Celtic are renowned for their attacking options and are exciting to watch, and thanks to the leadership of Carter-Vickers, they are also the league’s meanest defence by quite some distance.
It was never going to be easy to replace the hugely successful Scott Brown as captain but, for Callum McGregor, it has been a seamless transition.
Be a leader, show a good example with high standards and be successful, that’s what he’s all about.
He is always happy to take on the responsibility of leading the team, his part in another successful season is there for all to see.
He strikes me as a natural leader and, like Brown, he can drive people on and be an inspiration to his team-mates.
It is not often he gives the ball away, especially in tight situations but he’ll be the first to admit he needs others working hard off the ball for him to play penetrating passes and he has that in abundance.
The Celtic fans love to sing about one of their Japanese heroes and no wonder, he has been a magnificent signing for Celtic’s midfield.
At a fee of around £1m, he has been more than value for money.
His range of passing, both short and long, is impressive and from the minute he scored a screamer at Tynecastle past Hearts’ Craig Gordon last season he made people sit up and take notice of his ability.
Just a week later, he looked calm and composed as he scored two goals against Rangers in a match that turned Celtic’s season around and eventually saw them become champions.
This season, it’s noticeable how many penetrating passes he plays with both right and left foot. Like McGregor, he rarely gives the ball away.
Just as they did with Cameron Carter-Vickers, Celtic have invested heavily with the fee of around £6m to sign their flamboyant Portuguese winger Jota and he rarely disappoints.
He has a charisma that Celtic fans can take to immediately. He scores goals, his celebratory pose after goals against Rangers are iconic, he has plenty of assists to his name as well and he’s the type of player that gets the supporters on the edge of their seats.
It cannnot be easy to make the transition from Portuguese football to the pace of the Scottish game, but Jota looks like he relishes everything that he comes up against.
There is a simplicity to Celtic’s popular Japanese forward that oozes out of him every time you see him play.
He looks so happy to be playing in an exciting team and he shows it constantly.
He also looks very much like a team player with his persistent pressing and closing down and gives the impression that he’s enthusiastic about it all. That’s the hallmark of a good team-mate.
It is noticeable that he does not always have to be involved in the build-up with the way Celtic play but, when you watch him closely, he is always looking for a ball over the top or running in behind full-backs.
He is all about scoring goals. I scored 32 in my first season at Celtic, I have no doubt Kyogo will beat that this season and go on to score a lot more.
Kyogo is my choice for Scotland’s Player of the Year.
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