Callum McGregor is Celtic’s version of former Germany skipper Philipp Lahm, according to boss Brendan Rodgers.
The Hoops utility player is having the season of his life with 10 goals to date – his most recent in the 4-0 William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final win over Rangers at Hampden Park on Sunday – and has broken into the Scotland set-up with his first cap coming in the friendly against Holland in November.
Rodgers conceded that the 24-year-old is “very much” the understated member of the Parkhead side who will clinch their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership with victory over Hibernian at Easter Road on Saturday, with a unprecedented successive domestic treble still up for grabs.
However, the Northern Irishman made favourable comparisons between McGregor and Lahm, the adaptable former Bayern Munich player who, among many successes with club and country, won the Champions League and World Cup.
Ahead of the trip to Leith, Rodgers said: “We were talking the other day and you talk about Philipp Lahm, who was obviously a great player for Bayern Munich, who could play in full-back positions, could play in midfield.
“Callum is that version for me. Wherever he plays he is minimum seven out of 10 and he has this incredible ability to understand the game.
“Our fourth goal at the weekend, the penalty, comes from him having the ability tactically to press the game at the right moment.
“When he sees the poor pass by their midfield player, he nicks it and we are away on the counter attack and his pass leads to the penalty.
“He is a player of real intelligence, he knows the whole pitch and that is always the mark of the really gifted players.
“He knows the game at full-back. If I play him as number 10 or eight, or wide, he is a joy to work with and to see him grow and develop and produce in the big games is great to see and there is still a lot more to come from him.”