BT Sport pundit and former Celtic striker Chris Sutton has tipped Aaron Mooy to step into Callum McGregor’s shoes should he get injured this season.
After two years in China with Shanghai Port, Celtic secured the 31-year-old on a free transfer last week, and are said to have fended off a host of clubs vying for his signature, such was the appeal of the Australia international.
Mooy, once at St Mirren, has made over 300 senior club appearances, mainly being deployed as a box-to-box midfielder – but has played further forward as well as a little deeper.
McGregor, meanwhile, was very much deployed at the base of a midfield three by Ange Postecoglou last season and flourished with an average 7.13 SofaScore match rating for his performances in the Scottish Premiership, ranking third among midfielders to make 10 or more appearances, and Sutton sees facets of Mooy’s game that could see him fulfil his role if required.
Speaking on the Record Celtic podcast, he said: “Callum McGregor is such an integral part of the way that Celtic play their football, gets on the half-turn, his speed of passing. But if Callum gets injured, then somebody needs to step into his shoes, and I think Aaron Mooy possibly could be that player.
“Got a really good reputation down south for his performances at Huddersfield and Brighton, has been away for a couple of seasons.
“Celtic would have scouted him. He’s a player Ange Postecoglou knows very well.
“Looked a bit rusty at the weekend, that has to be said, but if he fires and Celtic would have watched him closely, then I think that’s a position where Celtic needed another body in.”
TIF Thoughts on Mooy and Celtic…
Will Mooy be a good addition?
In his most recent campaign in the 2019/20 English Premier League with Brighton & Hove Albion, the 53-cap Australian ace finished the season with a 76.7% pass completion rate, and while in a more competitive league, that rate does fall short compared to McGregor’s 90% in the Scottish Premiership last term.
After a sumptuous strike and starring display in a 2-0 win over Bournemouth for the Seagulls that same year, commentator Alan Smith lauded him for displaying “shades of Dennis Bergkamp”, and while he may be better suited to playing further up the pitch given his age, he could retreat down the field during his time in Glasgow, so it will be interesting to see how he acclimatises to life at Parkhead.