Lewis Ferguson was excellent for Aberdeen in his debut campaign at Pittodrie and could be just the man to replace Scott Brown at Celtic.
The 19-year-old was a hit in his first campaign away from Hamilton and scored some important goals on his way to be nominated for the PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year award and winning Aberdeen’s young player of the season gong. His stunning overhead kick in the Europa League qualifiers against Burnley was just one of eight goals he scored for The Dons last season with none being more important than his late winner in the 1-0 win over fierce rivals Rangers in the League Cup semi-final. Ferguson’s penchant for scoring important goals would stand him in good stead of potentially filling Brown’s shoes at Parkhead, with the 34-year-old stepping up and scoring a few big goals himself of late.
Despite Brown still doing well in Celtic’s midfield- even rendering Olivier Ntcham to little more than a squad player- there are signs that the club captain might be slowly winding down his career. There have been links to a nice pre-retirement move to Australia and his injury last season did make people wonder if he would come back the same player.
Regardless, Brown is still a big part of Celtic and Neil Lennon is clearly a fan of his captain but it might be wise to bring in Ferguson sooner rather later. Ferguson could come in and rotate with the 34-year-old allowing Brown a rest and the youngster the chance to gain experience of playing for a club like Celtic. The 19-year-old could also slot in alongside Brown and allow Callum McGregor to push forward into the three behind the lone striker to allow the 26-year-old more creative freedom or to solidify the midfield in the European games that Lennon might not expect to dominate the ball.
There are a few concerns regarding Ferguson joining Celtic somewhere down the line however. The 19-year-old is the son of Derek Ferguson- a former Rangers player during the 1980s- and is the nephew of former Rangers captain and club legend Barry Ferguson. This would probably make a move to Parkhead a contentious issue in the family and would be even harder to accept than when he went to Pittodrie. It might sound trivial but you’d imagine this would play on the mind of the youngster if he were to be offered the chance of joining The Celts. Also, Aberdeen paid a large development fee to Hamilton for Ferguson’s services and would expect a good return for one of their most-prized assets, especially if they were losing him to a direct rival.
Ferguson could be the ideal man for Celtic’s midfield long-term but there a few hurdles that must be bypassed before any deal goes ahead.