DAVIE HAY has urged Celtic to offer Jonny Hayes a new deal to tie him down at the Hoops.
The Parkhead legend has been impressed with the versatile Republic of Ireland star since his £1.3million arrival from Aberdeen in the summer of 2017.
Hayes has answered the SOS calls when emergencies have cropped up and Neil Lennon has already gone on record as stating he wants to keep the player who will be free to walk away in the summer.
Club ambassador Hay, speaking to the Evening Times, said: “I would offer Jonny Hayes a new contract at Celtic as a matter of urgency. He more than deserves it.
“He has proven time and again to be a reliable performer when called upon and very often that is in the big games, too.
“He came off the bench at Ibrox and scored, he was different class over in Rome against Lazio and he never lets the side down.
“Yes, he may be 32 now, but I think he merits at least another year. He’s proved to be such a valuable member of the squad.
“People maybe thought he was an out-and-out winger when he arrived, although he played at left-back now and again for Aberdeen, but he has shown he can play anywhere down that side.
“He looks at home as a left-back in a flat four, he excels as a wing-back as he showed in Rome and he is an option playing further up as a winger, too.
“He’s a bundle of energy and he crosses a great ball, so I think it’s a no-brainer to keep him around for another season.”
Lennon had no hesitation in bringing in Hayes against Lazio when Belgian Boli Bolingoli was sidelined with injury.
Greg Taylor, bought from Kilmarnock for £2.25million in the summer, was also available, but the Irishman gave the nod to the veteran who played his part in the team’s first-ever victory on Italian soil in 13 attempts.