Scott Brown is on the verge of leaving Celtic this summer to join Aberdeen as a player-coach with just two more Scottish Premiership games to play – and focus will begin to turn to who can replace the Scot in Celtic’s midfield.
It is difficult to underestimate the 35-year-old’s influence at Celtic. Joining the club from Hibernian in 2007, Brown has gone on to play 609 times for the Hoops – winning 22 trophies with Celtic including 10 league titles.
But he is now set to leave when the season ends and join Aberdeen, which will bring round the interesting proposition of seeing Brown play against Celtic in the red of the Dons next season. A replacement is needed.
The perfect one might have just become available. The Telegraph have claimed that Stoke City are allowing 31-year-old star Joe Allen to leave a year before the end of his contract at The Britannia – after a tricky 2020-21 campaign.
The 57-time Wales international missed the first half of the season as he recovered from a long-term knee injury but is now back and firing for the Potters. His contract ends in 2022, but Stoke are happy to let him leave the club.
Combative but creative, tough but technical, Allen is the perfect blend of aggression and work rate – as well as finesse and experience that Celtic require in midfield as Brown’s replacement. Brendan Rodgers is certainly a fan.
Rodgers told the Sentinel in January: “He’s got great energy, a great football brain, he can put his foot in, make passes, he can get goals. He with his injury but he’s starting to come back and I know he’s a big talent.”