Noel Whelan has admitted “Mr. Celtic” Scott Brown will have to settle for a bit-part role after the emergence of Ismaila Soro.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former SPFL striker told the 35-year-old to look at Leeds United’s Pablo Hernandez as an example of a senior player being able to make a difference from the bench.
Brown has not featured for the Hoops since playing 97 minutes in last weekend’s Scottish Cup final victory over Hearts.
He missed out on the place on the bench for the Bhoys’ 2-0 win over Ross County in midweek but returned to the matchday squad for Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Hamilton Academical.
Soro, 22, has replaced Brown in Neil Lennon’s starting XI for their last three league games in which they have won all three and not conceded.
“Scott Brown is Mr. Celtic. He’s been there so long, he’s been their leader,” Whelan told Football Insider.
“But sometimes when you get to an age that Scott Brown is, I’m not saying he hasn’t got anything to offer because he does throughout the whole club from the training ground to the field.
“You need fresh legs in there at times though.
“Look at what Pablo Hernandez does, when you get to a certain age you share that load out and become an impact player when you need to win a game.
“Now, when you look at Scott Brown that’s the role that he’s playing. You need fresh legs.
“So far this season everyone still needs to prove a point so there’s a lot of pressure on performances.
“It looks like they’ve turned a corner now. They’ve got a bit of confidence, they’re picking up clean sheets.
“Hopefully they’re starting to get that belief back and that consistency that’s needed at a club like Celtic because all the way through this season now players and manager are going to be under pressure and the spotlight.”