Celtic star Callum McGregor has been expressing his gratitude to former Bhoys boss Ronny Deila for giving him the chance to shine at Parkhead.
The 26-year-old is now a key player for Celtic and Scotland but for a while, it seemed he might not make the grade at Parkhead.
He was sent to Notts County on loan in 2013 by Neil Lennon and when he returned to Glasgow, the Norwegian had taken over as manager of the club.
Speaking to The Scotsman, McGregor explained how it was Deila who had faith in him to become a first-team star at Celtic at a point where he wondered if it was time to move on from his boyhood club.
“Ronny was the one who gave me my chance to go and perform in the first team. I will always be grateful to him for showing that faith in me.
“When he took over, he could have gone in a safe direction but he liked to develop young players. He always wanted to give you a chance and you have to give him credit for that. Ronny was willing to throw younger boys like myself and Kieran Tierney in and let us play.
“Without that, I might not be sitting here today playing for Celtic. It’s something I will always thank him for. I’m grateful to him for setting me on my journey.”
The results have been clear to see. McGregor is now approaching 300 games with Celtic and was a regular under Brendan Rodgers and is now a firm favourite of the returning Lennon.
Deila sometimes gets stick for his spell at Celtic. The club struggled in Europe under his guidance whilst a 2016 semi-final loss to lower-league Old Firm rivals Rangers in the Scottish Cup did his reputation among the fans no good.
But in McGregor, Celtic have a reason to be forever thankful to the Norwegian, who clearly played a big part in turning the midfielder’s career around.