Although Celtic have found a lot of success in the overseas market in recent years, there are still plenty of young talents in Scotland who could be good enough to make that step up.
This could be even more important in the next few years where funds could be limited, so looking to the domestic market could be even more crucial.
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A report from Edinburgh Live looked at the four nominees for the Young Player of the Year award, and it’s easy to see all four being good targets for Celtic in the future.
Here’s a look at them and what they could offer:
Aaron Hickey – Hearts
It will be interesting to see if Hearts are forced into selling Hickey this summer, but that could also depend on their relegation status. He’s probably not ready to play a key role just now, so even signing him with a view to loaning him out for a couple of seasons could be a good move.
He can play on either side of the defence, he’s dogged and hates to let his man get past him, while he’s also handy going forward too. He’s played over 30 senior games despite only being 17 years old and the future looks bright. Jeremie Frimpong may move on in a year or two if he keeps improving, and Hickey could be the ideal replacement.
Lewis Ferguson – Aberdeen
While this would be worth it purely to wind up the Rangers fans to have a Ferguson playing in the midfield, he also has a lot to offer as a player.
In some ways it’s hard to figure out his best position, as he’s physical and strong in the tackle, but he’s also good at arriving late in the box and contributing in attack too. There’s been rumours about Olivier Ntcham moving on this summer and the Frenchman is capable of playing anywhere in the central midfield area, so Ferguson could be a good replacement for him.
Ali McCann – St Johnstone
Unknown outside of Perth until this season, McCann was trusted with a key role by Tommy Wright this season and played a huge role in taking them from a relegation battle to a final position in the top six.
He looks quite slight and perhaps he would need to bulk up to play at a higher level, but he plays with such heart and determination that you don’t notice it. He keeps the ball moving and has also popped up with some big goals at times this season, but he doesn’t shirk his defensive responsibilities either.
He’s another player who might need a season or two to develop further, but you could see him becoming a long term alternative to Callum McGregor in the midfield.
Allan Campbell – Motherwell
The attention and speculation between Celtic and Motherwell may centre around David Turnbull this summer, but it’s also worth having a look at how much Campbell has grown in the past few seasons.
He’s a 21 year old with over 100 Premiership appearances to his name already, and he really is the player who keeps the Motherwell midfield going. He get’s box-to-box when needed, but he shows leadership skills and the ability to anchor the midfield too.
Although he’s not exactly the same type of player as Scott Brown at this point in his career, he does have the characteristics that Celtic should be looking for when it comes to finding his long term successor.