BRENDAN RODGERS last night claimed Kieran Tierney was born to be Celtic captain after the 20-year-old became the youngest to wear the armband in the club’s history.
And the Celtic manager offered yet more hope that a deal could be done to bring Patrick Roberts back to Glasgow, at least on loan, for one more season.
One of the youngest Celtic teams in years found in all too easy against a Kilmarnock side who were miles off the pace in this Betfred Cup tie.
Goals from Tierney, who found the net from over 35 yards, Anthony Ralston, his first for the club, Stuart Armstrong and a Leigh Griffiths double ensured there was never any danger of the treble winners slipping up in the 5-0 victory.
And Rodgers tipped the left-back to follow in Scott Brown’s footsteps when the current skipper retires.
Asked about Tierney one day being club captain, Rodgers said: “He’s made for it, there’s no doubt about that. We’ve got some senior guys at the club I could give anyone the captain’s armband; Craig Gordon or Mikael Lustig, but if you’re talking for the future once Brown’s time is up, which won’t be for a few years yet, then he’s made for it.
“He’s of that ilk. Kieran doesn’t waste his time doing stupid things, he’s concentrated on his football, he lives his life to be a player, he’s not drinking, he trains like an animal every day and wherever you ask him to play he plays it to a high level, tactically he’s improving all the time and he’s an absolute joy to work with.
“He would fit the mould of a captain, he’s certainly got the credentials. You have to be careful what age you give it to them but there’s no doubt he’s on that journey to one day lead the club for sure.
“Kieran took great pride in winning the Dafabet Cup against Sunderland, it means everything to him, to go into the huddle and say his speech.
“He’s one of those young guys that really inspires through his performance. He feels a real energy and pride, he knows what it means to play for Celtic and put the armband on and follow captains of this great club.
“Kieran knows it’s a privileged position and so I’m delighted for him. He plays with a smile, he comes into work every day and is a great, great boy. Scotland has a huge talent there.”
As for Roberts, all indications are that the winger himself wants a return to Celtic where he was so loved by the supporters who are desperate to see the Englishman back.
Rodgers said: “As we sit here now, there is nothing to add to what has been said over the last couple of days. Pat is a Manchester City player, he spent his pre-season there and if there are any developments to come out of City then we would be hugely interested in him.
“I have heard all the rumours, gossip and speculation about him but right now he is a Manchester City player and a fantastic player.
“Has there been any dialogue? That’s private if there is.
“Like our young players it’s about where the development is best suited. He is clearly a big talent and between now and the end of the market Patrick and Manchester City will decide where it is he can go, and the players will have big say in where is best for his development this coming season.
“He’s a big talent and, of course, if he is available and we can have him then we’d love to take him.”
All Lee McCulloch, the Kilmarnock manager, could say was; “Being brutally honest, we didn’t deserve anything from the game.”