On a recent edition of A Celtic State Of Mind, Paul John Dykes was joined by Natasha Meikle and Lawrence Connolly to discuss all of the latest Celtic news and Meikle spent some time talking about 22-year-old Hoops midfielder Ismaila Soro and the role he may play for the Glasgow club moving forward.
Soro has made just seven senior appearances for the Hoops since joining the club from Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv almost a year ago for £2.07m. Per Transfermarkt, ahead of Celtic’s clash with Ross County on Wednesday, he’s spent just 106 minutes on the pitch in the Premiership since making his move to Parkhead, however, despite the infrequent nature of his appearances, Soro has earned some plaudits of late.
In his first start for Celtic, which saw the Hoops beat Lille in their final UEFA Europa League game of the 2020/21 campaign earlier this month, Soro was given the joint-highest match rating of any Hoops player by GlasgowLive (8/10), who described his performance as ‘full of energy’ versus Lille.
That may be understandable when you consider that, according to WhoScored, Soro made a whopping total of 10 tackles in that game – by far the most tackles made by any Hoops player in that fixture – as well as two interceptions and one key pass. He went on to start Celtic’s next game versus Kilmarnock, with GlasgowLive praising how he played in that fixture too.
With that in mind, it may be understandable why Meikle tipped the £900k-rated man to offer Celtic “stability” by taking over from Hoops captain Scott Brown and stepping into his shoes in Celtic’s midfield, saying:
“We’re missing someone in the middle of the park to do that role of breaking it up. Scott Brown used to do it a bit more effectively than he does now, obviously, you know, fitness thing, he’s older and the legs aren’t quite what they used to be – that is the role that Soro needs to come in and play now and offer us a bit of stability and a bit of strength in that middle of the park.”
Should Soro become a regular starter?
TIF Thoughts on what Meikle had to say about Soro…
Soro didn’t start Sunday’s 2019/20 Scottish Cup Final win over Heart of Midlothian but it may be fair to say that he is starting to become more of an important presence within Celtic’s midfield and if he can build on the positive displays he’s produced in his two starts for the Glasgow club thus far, it may be difficult for Neil Lennon to keep him out of the squad, even at the expense of the experienced club captain Brown.
It will be interesting to see how Lennon handles Soro’s development from this point onwards but given that the Ivorian has already impressed journalists and Celtic fans alike in his few Hoops appearances, perhaps it would be fair to say that if Soro can produce more performances like the ones he’s been producing lately, he may well play an important role in helping the Premiership’s second-placed side to get back on track in their pursuit of 10-in-a-row.