Celtic's most decorated player and an eventual place in the dugout? Neil Lennon believes anything is possible for Callum McGregor.

The Parkhead captain has enjoyed another stellar season; passing 400 appearances, 50 Scotland caps, and he could yet become the first player in history with five domestic trebles to his name. Victory over Inverness Caledonian Thistle in June’s Scottish Cup final would secure a 20th major honour for the 29-year-old midfielder, with the promise of plenty more to come amid a period of dominance under Ange Postecoglou.

Former Celtic manager Lennon has watched McGregor flourish no end since taking the captain’s armband from Scott Brown, insisting he has always been ‘a manager’s dream’. Intelligent, disciplined, highly talented and with plenty miles left on the clock, Lennon suspects McGregor’s best could be yet to come.

“He had a great role model in Broony and the pair of them were as thick as thieves for a long time,” he said. “Callum’s a player of high intelligence and great discipline and he’s as professional as you can get: he’s a manager’s dream, really.

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“Callum was almost groomed for the captaincy. He and Broony played together for a long time and were very successful but he has a totally different personality from his predecessor.

“Broony is more outgoing and more feisty whereas Callum is cold but he reads the game brilliantly and is very good tactically on top of that. He would always be one of the first picks.

“He’s had a stellar career so far and there’s a real maturity about him – for Scotland as well as Celtic. Steve Clarke is delighted with him and he’s coming into his peak years.

“At 29, you’ll see the absolute best of him in the next three or four seasons. He’s at the perfect age, better than he’s ever been physically and he has the experience to back it up now.

“He’s always in great shape and is hardly ever injured so he’s available to play just about every week. Plus he could continue like this for another five or six years.

“If Celtic beat Inverness in the Scottish Cup final then he’ll have won 20 major honours and I think he’ll go on and set the record for the most decorated player.”

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You will find few disputing that McGregor could have plied his trade at a level higher than the Scottish Premiership, and that makes his loyalty to Celtic all the more meaningful to the fanbase. There were some rumours that Leicester City were once coveting him, but the player put that to bed by signing a new contract, much to the delight of his then-manager. With McGregor driving it, Lennon expects Celtic will continue to be the league’s dominant force for a while yet.

“Celtic are in a period of real dominance at the moment and I can see that lasting for at least a few more years,” he said. “There was a lot of talk at one stage about him signing for Leicester City [after Brendan Rodgers left Celtic in 2019] so we were all thrilled when he signed a new contract to stay where he was.

“I have no doubts whatsoever that he could play in the Premier League and for some of the really big clubs as well but he’s happy at Celtic and everyone should be pleased about that.

“He signed the extension just before we played Lazio in the Europa League and I didn’t have to do too much convincing. I never had one issue or worry with him.”

Lennon is certain that McGregor’s tactical sharpness, willingness to learn and insatiable hunger for the game tick all the boxes for a managerial career somewhere down the line. He can often be heard directing traffic from the base of Celtic’s midfield, and the fact he always seems to have ample time in possession of the ball is no accident whatsoever.

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These are traits which lead Lennon to believe his career in the game will extend far beyond the day he decides to hang up his boots.

“For me, he has all the attributes to do that job further down the line,” Lennon said. “He already operates like a coach on the pitch and that’s why he’s the captain.

“He can be flexible with his approach to games and you only need to tell him something once and he gets it immediately.

“Tactically, he’s spot on and I do believe that once he stops playing he will be a very, very good coach.”