By Alan Hutton

24th Dec, 2020 | 1:00pm

'Amazing' - Exclusive: Pundit wowed by barely-seen Celtic player amid Lawwell reveal

Alan Hutton has admitted he has been blown away by the “amazing” rise of Conor Hazard at Celtic in recent weeks.

The former Rangers and Scotland full-back, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, has heralded the young shot-stopper for his performances after being thrown into the deep end by Neil Lennon.

As revealed by Football Insider, Hoops chief Peter Lawwell has given a new blockbuster contract for the 22-year-old the green light after his stunning rise into the Celtic starting XI.

The youngster has leapfrogged Scott Bain and Vasilis Barkas to feature not only in the Premiership but in the Europa League and the Scottish Cup final last weekend.

He now has five first-team appearances under his belt, as well as two clean sheets in as many league starts.

Hutton has admitted it has been a meteoric rise for Hazard and insisted he is well-deserving of a new deal to keep him tied down at Parkhead for the foreseeable future.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“I mean, all we have to do is rewind a few weeks and think of his situation – do you really think he would have thought he’d have been playing a cup final or playing in all these games? I wouldn’t have thought so,” Hutton told Football Insider.

“I think it’s amazing what he’s done, yes, the goalkeeping situation is a problem for Celtic and that’s why they’ve turned to him and him being so young, I don’t want to criticise him too much because he’s very young and he’s been thrust into the limelight.

“I think he did have a couple of shaky moments in the cup but at the end of the day, he stood up when it counted – the penalty shootout – and made saves. I think you have to give him credit for that, he has been flung into a difficult situation.

“Let’s not kid ourselves on, where Celtic are at at the moment, it can be toxic, so to be able to deal with that just shows you the type of boy that he is.

“I think he deserves the contract and that stability within the club because he’s stood up when he’s had to be counted on and made saves so fair play to the young lad, he thoroughly deserves it.” 

In other news, Hutton has savaged senior figure ‘Upsetting the applecart’ at Celtic.