Reports from Australia that Aaron Mooy is considering retirement are not surprising. He has one year left on his Celtic contract and his absence through injury during the final months of the season were a big part of the story behind Celtic’s drop in form in that period. Aaron brings game intelligence to the team. He knows when to move the ball forward quickly, and when to slow things down – which you need to do sometimes if you want to retain possession.
We acknowledged the drop in team performance without him. His individual form when returning after an injury lay-off, as he worked towards full fitness, was also well below optimum levels. He will be 33 years old in September and is a player who needs to be at his peak to be effective.
This is not a reason to retire, but the nature of the knee injury that caused problems in recent months may be. Athletes get to a point when they face a trade-off: continue to compete and earn, or give your body a break. Many play through pain, which continues even when walking, or at rest.
Whatever Aaron decides, John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan are sure to advise Brendan Rodgers we need to sign a younger, fitter, Mooy. There are several areas of the squad that need bolstered, but that Aaron Mooy shaped hole central mid is the most pressing area in the starting 11.