Three Celtic players that must follow Gordon example and sign new deals
COMMENT By Matt Farr
Celtic extended the long term future of one of its most prized assets on Wednesday, after Craig Gordon put pen to paper on a new three-year deal.
Gordon, 34, has been an important asset for Brendan Rodgers this season, keeping 24 clean sheets from 42 appearances in all competitions.
Seeing the Scotland international commit his future to the club was a big statement of intent from Celtic, who have fought off reported interest from Premier League leaders Chelsea.
But Rodgers and Celtic must now work hard to secure the futures of several of their other coveted stars, including these three players in particular:
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Unsurprisingly, Moussa Dembele should be at the top of the list. The 20-year-old has developed cult status at the club after a scintillating run of goalscoring form this season.
He has 32 goals from 44 appearances in all competitions, including three hat-tricks, catching the eye of several elite European clubs – including Chelsea.
However, although it may seem as though Dembele is destined for greater things after making an impression in Scotland, Celtic would do no wrong by convincing him to stay for at least another year.
Take the Dembele factor away from Celtic this season, and they may not be in such a comfortable position. That’s how important he has been.
If Celtic can now go and get Dembele to sign a new deal, it would go down as arguably one of the best pieces of business they have done in a long, long time.
Another of Celtic’s star performers this term has been Kieran Tierney. The 19-year-old left-back is developing at an alarming rate, and a host of top clubs are likely to try and prize him away from Rodgers in the coming years.
Tierney missed a large part of the season through injury, but he has since burst back onto the scene and made an immediate impact.
His influence in the final third has seen him contribute 12 assists from 29 appearances, and he is on track to become a formidable player.
Tierney did agree to a new five-year deal back in June, but the value of his stock has no doubt rocketed since, and he could be considered worthy of a deal to match his ‘key player’ status.
Celtic must ensure he continues his development in Scotland for several more years.
Armstrong, 24, has also come on leaps and bounds under Rodgers.
The midfield playmaker has scored 10 goals and supplied seven assists from 35 appearances in all competitions this season, and is a vital cog in Rodgers’ Celtic machine.
He has shown considerable improvement in his intelligence, distribution and work-rate this season, and would be worth every penny spent if Celtic were to offer him an improved deal.
The Scotland international is currently tied down to the club for another year, but Rodgers will be particularly keen to ensure that he does not lose a player of Armstrong’s ability on the cheap next summer.