Celtic’s key men in eighth consecutive title triumph

Brendan Rodgers and Neil Lennon have had some impressive performers.

Celtic are celebrating their eighth straight title – and the club’s 50th in total – after a 3-0 win at Aberdeen.

The Hoops had to deal with the disruption of losing boss Brendan Rodgers midway through the season but the players he left behind refused to falter.

Here Press Association Sport’s Andy Newport identifies the three key men who kept the champions on track to retain their crown once again:

Celtic’s Callum McGregor is a leading contender for the Player of the Year prizes (Robert Parry/PA)

The midfielder is the Parkhead club’s leading candidate to be crowned Scotland’s Player of the Year. Being versatile can sometimes work against a player but in McGregor’s case, his ability to fit in across the midfield – and even on occasion at left-back – has been a vital ingredient to Celtic’s winning recipe this year. He even kept Scott Brown out of the side for a spell after slotting into the injured skipper’s holding role so well that it convinced Rodgers that Brown would have to wait to reclaim his place.

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It took the Scotland winger time to get off and running but Forrest was soon chipping in with goals on a regular basis after blasting four goals in a brutal 6-0 demolition job on St Johnstone in early October. His winner against Steven Gerrard’s Rangers in March’s Old Firm clash will be the one he cherishes the most, however, after helping to once again underline the Hoops’ dominance over their bitter rivals.

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The Frenchman had to contend with the weight of a £9million price tag this season after making last year’s loan move from PSG permanent. A string of niggling injuries have also not helped his cause but when fully fit and firing on all cylinders, the 21-year-old has proved he is the man for the big occasion. Be it scoring a late double to see off Hibs at home in October, turning the game back in Celtic’s favour against Aberdeen in December, handing Neil Lennon three points on his return to the Hoops dug-out in February with a stoppage-time winner against Hearts or his opener in an Old Firm duel, Edouard has contributed at vital moments.

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