Scott Brown has hailed the Celtic talent spotters for identifying Jeremie Frimpong as the natural heir to Kieran Tierney’s golden Bhoy title.
The Hoops lost their battle to keep hold of star left-back Tierney in the summer as the Scotland defender completed his £25million switch to Arsenal.
But the pain of his departure has largely been masked by the emergence of exciting teenager Frimpong.
Neil Lennon reinvested the Tierney cash on four full backs – Boli Bolingoli, Hatem Abd Elhamed, Stoke loanee Moritz Bauer and Frimpong – over the summer.
It cost the Northern Irishman £300,000 to pinch the latter from Manchester City – a fee that could eventually rise to £1million – but Brown is confident it is money well spent.
He said: “Jeremie is incredible to be honest. He is so keen and has a lot of energy. He runs up and down that line and his change of direction and speed is so hard to cope with.
“On Sunday against Hibernian he was up against one of the quickest players in the league in Martin Boyle but he turned the turbos on and the wee man showed how quick he is.
“He’s been great since coming in. He’s a lovely lad and down to earth.
“Seeing someone like him, especially coming from Man City, being so chilled out and so humble is great to see.
“How highly do I rate him against other young guys coming through? Well we had Kieran come through recently before going to Arsenal and now we’ve got Jerry too. It’s great to see these young ones come through.
“Whoever scouted him from Man City has done a great job. We got a lot of money for Kieran and we’ve managed to spend it wisely.
“We’ve brought in a couple of left backs while Jeremie has also come in on the right and been fantastic, as has Hatem, so we’ve got strength and depth in every position.”
Celtic retained their slot at the top of the table with a 2-0 Parkhead win over Hibs on Sunday.
It is their turn to journey along the M8 on Wednesday night as they travel to Tynecastle but Brown admits his side are stepping into the unknown as they come up against the Jambos for the first time since Daniel Stendel took over.
He said: “It’s going to be different for us. They’ve had a change in manager and they are going to play with a little bit more shape and a high press as well.
“It will be a different type of game for us as well. Against St Johnstone they were pressing high up and trying to put them under pressure.
“I think that’s what the new manager will be looking to do against us. It has been difficult for us to analyse to be fair.
“It’s only one game in so we just need to go out and play our own game, worry about how we’re going to react, chase the ball down and press them.
“The most important thing is for us to get on the ball and play our style.”
Hearts’ miserable season continued against Saints on Saturday as Tommy Wright’s team ruined Stendel’s welcome party with a 1-0 win.
The fans let the new man know they expect things to improve fast but Brown could not believe the German is being criticised already.
He said: “I think they’ve got to give the manager a bit of time, he’s one game in to it.
“He’s putting how own style, his own shape, his own philosophy into their game, so to start giving somebody grief after one game is a bit harsh.”