Scott Brown makes it in at number four after putting in some of his best performances in a Celtic shirt this year..
Admittedly, those have came under Brendan Rodgers, with Brown struggling towards the end of Ronny Deila’s spell in charge of the club last season. The Hoops captain looked laboured, devoid of the robust, all-action approach he’s taken to playing football throughout his career – with the Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to Rangers the perfect example of how injuries appeared to be taking their toll.
But Brown wasn’t all bad in the first half of 2016, still managing to captain Celtic to the league title and set a standard good enough to persuade Rodgers to stay loyal to him in the summer. It’s just as well the Northern Irishman did that as Brown has repaid him with one top performance after another to lead the Hoops to an unbeaten second half of the domestic season.
Not only is Brown’s cheeky smile back, but he’s matching it with a confidence in his play that some may have believed was behind him at the age of 31. We considered performances in all competitions in the making of this list and it’s hard to ignore Brown considering how influential he was in Celtic’s decent Champions League campaign. He’s hushed all talk of Joey Barton or Andy Halliday being in his league and his form for Celtic was so good that at one stage he looked like a saviour for a Scotland team badly needing one going into their World Cup qualifier against England at Wembley in November.
Brown is 100% back in a Celtic shirt and he’s another who could quite easily find himself top of this list in 2018 if he can continue his impressive form throughout the year.
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What They Said
“Written off last summer, Celtic’s captain has confounded his critics by moving to a new level under Brendan Rodgers. Playing the best football of his career.”
– Scottish Daily Mail’s Stephen McGowan.
“Improving with age! Credit where credit is due.”
– BT Sport’s Derek Rae
“Only suffered at the start of the year because he was overused by Ronny Deila, due to the fact he’s so important. An absolute force of nature under Brendan Rodgers and future Celtic great.”
– talkingbaws.com‘s Daniel Caw