JOHN COLLINS says that Celtic must do all they can to keep hold of Callum McGregor as they face up to a summer re-haul of their playing squad.

Collins, who was assistant manager to Ronny Deila at the club when McGregor made his debut back in 2014 against KR Reykjavik, acknowledges that the Celtic squad requires some major surgery following the disappointment of this season.

But with Scott Brown leaving, he says that the new manager coming in - whether that will be Eddie Howe or anyone else – will be eager to hang on to a player who knows the club inside out.

“I know Callum very well,” Collins said. “He is a Celtic supporter and has been a consistent performer year after year.

“I think he’s one the new manager will be desperate to keep hold of. He’s got a long contract so there’s no need to sell him due to a contract rolling down.

“I would imagine the last player the new manager would want to leave the club would be Callum McGregor, that’s for sure.”

That being said, Collins isn’t entirely sold on the idea of club vice-captain McGregor stepping immediately into Brown’s shoes as skipper.

While a massive fan of McGregor’s ability, and a huge admirer of his professionalism, Collins says he doesn’t posses the natural leadership skills that made Brown such a successful focal point for his teammates.

“I’ve got to be honest,” he said. ”Callum is a quiet, reserved young man.

“His leadership is in performance. He performs like a leader consistently but he is not a huge talker or shouter or motivator.

“He can be a captain, but I wouldn’t class Callum as a natural leader or spokesperson.

“I’d class him as a top-class football player and a good role model for every player in the academy.”