Quiet, softly spoken, and an absolute colossus.
Three words which don’t often go together, but which accurately sum up Cameron Carter Vickers.
The rock at the heart of the Celtic defence.
Initially signed on loan on the last day of the 2021 summer transfer window he’s been an ever present from day one, and it’s now almost impossible to think of our back four without him.
Though he made his debut for Spurs way back in September 2016, it’s taken six loan spells and almost seven years for the USA international to find somewhere he can finally call home.
A standout for Ange Postecoglou’s all conquering side over the last two seasons he’s every bit as vital to the Australian’s style of play as flair players such as Kyogo Furuhashi, Jota and Reo Hatate. Sunday’s man of the match performance against Rangers proved this beyond doubt.
Whilst attacking players will often grab the headlines it’s the work of CCV and his defensive team-mates that provide the platform for others to go and excel.
Put simply, Celtic could not have achieved their incredible levels of consistency without a defence marshalled by the Southend born stopper.
He’s that important to the team.
THE ULTIMATE TEAM PLAYER
Stepping out on to the Hampden turf on Sunday lunchtime, Carter-Vickers knew that he wouldn’t be returning to the National Stadium this season – at least in a playing capacity – no matter the full time result.
It’s become apparent that Celtic have been carefully managing an injury situation that now requires surgery to repair.
Such is the need for the procedure it will take place as quickly as this week.
Speaking shortly after the game Ange Postecoglou confirmed that his season was over.
“That’s Cameron Carter-Vickers last game. He has been carrying an injury for I don’t know how long.
We’ll put him out to pasture for now and let him get what he needs to get done.”
To therefore put in a performance of such magnitude whilst fully aware of the risks to his physical wellbeing speaks volumes for his character.
To put his body on the line in the way that he done in order to ensure his side would be taking their place in June’s Final without him tells you all you need to know about him as a team-mate.
He made the ultimate sacrifice to now put the club on the edge of completing what would be a World Record 8th Domestic Treble.
NEXT SEASON AND BEYOND
With six games remaining Cameron Carter-Vickers will now be given the opportunity to rehabilitate himself ahead of what’s already shaping up to be a huge 2023/24 season for the club.
A win at Hampden next month would provide Celtic with a fifth trophy out of six in the Ange Postecoglou era, but as we know the Australian isn’t stopping there.
He never stops.
Europe has always been high on the agenda for Ange and so far success on that front has been the one thing missing from his reign in the Celtic Park hotseat.
If we’re to provide a credible challenge in next season’s Champions League then retaining the services of a figure such as Carter-Vickers is an absolute must.
At 25 years of age, and contracted at Celtic until the summer of 2026, we’re in an excellent position with regards to his future.
On the cusp of what would generally be considered the ‘peak years’ for a footballer we have him at a very good stage in his career and it’d be something of a surprise if he didn’t want to stay for at least a further season, and for another crack at European football’s top tournament.
And beyond the 2023/24 season? Who knows.
Celtic and CCV will either agree to go their separate ways – a move which would bring the club a substantial return on their £6M investment – or he’ll stay for the long term.
A man who’s five years Callum McGregor’s junior and who’s already deputised as skipper, could we be looking at Celtic’s next permanent captain?
Before all that however he can now go recover, rest and recharge, safe in the knowledge that he’s more than played his part in yet another phenomenal season for the club.
Tune in to the latest episode of The Celtic Exchange Weekly as we discuss the Influence of CCV, The Maeda Mindset, Lenny Speaks Out & Much More!
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