CHRIS SUTTON has told Celtic skipper Scott Brown: “Carry on playing!”
The former Hoops striker insists the the midfield warrior should forget all thoughts about hanging up his boots, despite the fact he will celebrate his 36th birthday in June.
Brown is coming out of contract at the end of the season and has already been linked with the assistant manager’s job at Aberdeen – if his ex-Hibs mate Stephen Glass gets the nod to take over as Derek McInness’ successor, as CQN reported earlier this month.
But one-time England international Sutton has urged the player, who has won a phenomenal 22 honours in his 14-year glittering career since joining from Hibs for £4.4million, to bin any thoughts about a place in the dug-out in the new term.
And the top media pundit has also ordered to get that contract signed, sealed and delivered – NOW!
EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY…Scott Brown, silverware and the Celtic crest.
Sutton said: “Scott Brown showed me once again why talk of moving into a coaching role at this stage of his career is simply not an option.
“Much was made of the leadership qualities he displayed prior to kick-off when he marched into the opponents’ half during the warm-up to give his support to Glen Kamara.
“But it was the way he competed against the Finn and the rest of the Rangers midfield for the 90 minutes that followed that was the key takeaway for me from a match that meant very little.
“Brown proved again he’s good enough to keep going at this level and should be nowhere near Aberdeen or a coaching role in the summer.
“The 35-year-old’s place is at Celtic Park helping with any transition and being the glue for the club when the big changes are made.”
CLASH…Scott Brown challenges Ianis Hagi for the ball as Kristoffer Ajer looks on.
Sutton, speaking to the Daily Record, continued: “John Kennedy’s team knocked the ball about well and created some chances. They were the better team, but it was pretty meaningless and I’m concerned about people going overboard with one or two things.
“Celtic would have won had Odsonne Edouard not been a half yard off his game again because he had opportunities to clinch three points, having created an opening goal for Mohamed Elyounoussi.
“Elyounoussi looked good during the contest. He was a real threat throughout the match and took his goal superbly.
“Some of his link-up play with Edouard was top class and he’s done plenty of impressive things this term.
“At the same time, when it has been the crunch he’s been found wanting and that’s my concern about looking too closely at a dead rubber.
“Yes, the evidence of this game showed me the 26-year-old would be worth keeping if Southampton are willing to do business. But then you consider the campaign as a whole and he, like others, haven’t done enough to warrant a big fee.
JUST CHAMPION…Scott Brown with the 2019/20 Premiership trophy.
“Diego Laxalt falls into the same category. He looked much more like an AC Milan player in this game. He made positive runs, he was strong, he was solid in a defensive sense.
“It’s just what Celtic must have expected when he was signed on loan way back in October, just in time to make his debut in the first derby of the season against Rangers.
“But, again, you ask yourself when you look at the entire season if he has done enough for Celtic to pursue a long-term agreement with Milan for big money and you have to have doubts.”
Sutton added: “Kennedy got his point from the game but his position is not even a debate, as far I’m concerned.
“Nothing against John, but he’s not next manager material, no matter what Kieran Tierney says.
“In terms of the future, there was nothing learned from the game and there was nothing really gained either.
“The main thing was confirming aspects we knew, one of which is the importance of Brown.
“I’ve banged on about it and I will keep doing so until he’s signed up for 2021/22. It needs to be done now.”