DANNY LENNON may ultimately not have seen the best of Aaron Mooy when he managed him at St Mirren, but he has a feeling that Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou will ensure his new club’s supporters see a midfielder at the peak of his powers.

There is a school of thought that for all of the technically gifted players Celtic are blessed with in the middle of the park, they miss some of the bite that left with Scott Brown last summer, and need greater solidity in that area of the park when they make the step up to the Champions League.

According to Lennon, Mooy will certainly help out on both those fronts, but to describe him as a defensive midfielder is to do him something of an injustice. And with the greatest of respect to Brown, Lennon feels there are more strings to Mooy’s bow than possessed by the former Celtic captain.

“Some people talk about Aaron coming in and replacing Scott Brown, and while they might be operating in similar roles, they are two different players completely,” Lennon said.

“I’m not being disrespectful to Scott Brown or saying he couldn’t handle the ball, but for me, Aaron can perhaps see better options earlier, he’s that type of player.

“I think Aaron’s technical ability, his vision and his awareness is at a very high level, and that will certainly help Celtic get started a lot quicker.

“The key thing for me with Celtic is that yes, Ange wants midfielders in there that can get them started and maintain possession of the ball, but you don’t want one that will go in there and slow the game down and allow the opposition to get back behind the ball.

“Looking at Ange’s philosophy and the way his team plays, I think he’s looking to speed things up in that area a wee bit more.”

Instead of changing the dynamic of Celtic’s midfield, then, Lennon feels Mooy will enhance what is already in place.

“I think he will complement the midfielders who are already there,” he said.

“I still think with a player like Aaron Mooy, there’s always a goal in him, I don’t think he’ll ever lose that. But he’s matured immensely and he makes more correct decisions than poor ones.

“That’s the difference between the top players and average players; they all make the same mistakes, but the top players make them less frequently.

“He’s also a fantastic athlete and has great core strength, and he will certainly give as good as he gets, if not more. I think that’s the thing about good ball players, they know when to mix it as well.

“I think he fits into the Celtic jigsaw very, very well.”

What Mooy, now 31, also brings is a wealth of experience at the top level after his spells in the English Premier League with Huddersfield Town and Brighton, and Lennon feels that could be a vital difference when Celtic make the step up to the group stages of the Champions League.

“There’s no doubt he’s been brought in with the Champions League in mind,” he said.

“Celtic have done extremely well to get to the stage where they are now, and Ange will want to go there and have a right good campaign in the Champions League and give the fans and the players a right good run for their money.

“They will be disappointed in the way things went in Europe last year, so I think that’s another building phase for Ange. He’s certainly trying to improve that level of the club. There’s no hiding the fact of what Rangers achieved last year, and he’ll want Celtic to compete at that level too.

“What he certainly brings over their midfielders at the minute – and I know Callum McGregor has got a lot of experience now as well – but Aaron has played at the top level, he’s been in that environment and he’ll bring a certain amount of calmness, influence and leadership to that group.”

Lennon can’t swear that he always knew Mooy was destined to play at that top level. His ability was never in doubt when he arrived at St Mirren as a youngster back in 2010, but a combination of factors meant that he never really settled in Paisley before returning home to Australia two years later.

Many players may not have been heard of again on this side of the world, but Mooy was made of sterner stuff. Successful spells at Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne City – where he was labelled by Postecoglou as the "best and most exciting player in the A-League" - led to him being signed up by Manchester City, who sent him immediately on loan to Huddersfield Town.

This time, Mooy was primed to make his mark in British football, and his path has eventually led him back to the Scottish Premiership a far more rounded player, and person.

Lennon is left to reflect on the one that got away for the Buddies, though he is delighted with how things have worked out for his former player.

“I just think at St Mirren at that particular time, we were bringing in foreign players and yes, we looked after them, but I don’t know if that was something we had perfected,” he said.

“Aaron came as a young boy, and at such an early age he is living away from home, and he just probably needed that little bit of maturation. I don’t mean maturation in terms of his body or physique, just mentally and psychologically.

“He was a quality player. He was one of those players who could make things happen. He would always be able to make a bit of time and space for himself and others, and he always used his body well in terms of shielding the ball and making sure it was never given away cheaply. He was a strong, strong lad.

“What pleasantly surprised me was that when we had him at St Mirren, we saw him more as a striker or a number 10, that’s what he came in as. As he matured and he developed he got slightly deeper and took on more responsibility.

“He learnt a great deal about the game not only in an attacking sense, but also defensively. That dedication and willingness to learn and grow as a player and a person has allowed him to rub shoulders with the best players in the world.”