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Ex-Rangers star Stuart McCall: Celtic made the right call with Brendan Rodgers

By Ronnie Esplin

Former Rangers midfielder and manager Stuart McCall has hailed Brendan Rodgers' impact at Celtic while highlighting another Old Firm arrival that backfired.

Scottish Premiership champions Celtic made a statement of intent as they announced the former Liverpool boss as their manager early in the summer, following Ronny Deila's departure.

The Gers were keen to respond with a big name of their own and announced the signing of Joey Barton on a free transfer just a few days after the announcement by the Bhoys.

McCall believes Ulsterman Rodgers was always destined to have the bigger impact.

"I look back to the summer and there wasn't much of a difference between Rangers announcing Joey Barton and Brendan Rodgers being appointed at Celtic", said McCall.

"The two sort of happened at the same time.

"I remember at the time of Barton signing thinking 'that's a big statement from Rangers'. But I have to say that to bring someone such as Brendan in was a massive coup for Celtic.

"As the season progresses, the Barton thing didn't work out and Brendan worked out magnificently, I am looking at Celtic and they have only brought in a couple of players.

"Kolo Toure was signed, and he hasn't played so much, there is Moussa Dembele and Scott Sinclair, but it was more or less the same squad which the previous season were perceived to be not good.

"The difference with Brendan is what he has got out the team.

"You only have to look at Scott Brown and Stuart Armstrong.

"Celtic have absolutely stormed it and done far better than anyone would have thought in terms of wins; hence the gap is as big as it is. Rangers have had too many draws. But I think the blow to Rangers, and there's no doubt it was a blow, was when Celtic managed to go out and get the manager they have at the moment."

Celtic have won all three of their meetings with Rangers this season.

Meanwhile, Celtic are the latest club to be linked with Liverpool defender Joe Gomez, who is expected to go out on loan during the January transfer window.

The 19-year-old made his long awaited comeback from a long-term injury when he played the full 90 minutes of Liverpool's 0-0 draw with Plymouth in the FA Cup on Sunday.

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