Ismaila Soro is Celtic's undroppable transformer ahead of Ibrox derby

Ismaila Soro has become Celtic’s transformer in a season of wild undulations.

Ismaila Soro celebrates with David Turnbull after the latter made it 2-0 in the impressive 3-0 win over Dundee United. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

And a first goal for the Ivorian since his move to Scotland in a £1.5million deal from Bnei Yehuda, that set the club on their way to a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Dundee United, was not required for the 22-year-old to be guaranteed a start in Saturday’s humungous derby at Ibrox.

Soro has infused Celtic with a tempo and tigerishness that has flipped their fortunes – his five starts for the club bringing five wins, and four clean sheets. There is now no prospect of him being dropped in favour of captain Scott Brown for the meeting with Steven Gerrard’s men that Neil Lennon’s men cannot afford to lose as they trail the Premiership leaders by 16 points.

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A fact that his manager seems to recognise. In could be no other way when Lennon’s reshaping of the midfield that sees Soro at the apex of a central four set out in a diamond formation – in which David Turnbull has been excelling with consistent goalscoring displays at his apex – has dragged his team out of a trough that brought only two wins in 12 games before he gave the player his opportunity.

“Ismaila played very well [against United] and the goal’s a bonus,” said Lennon. “I’m just pleased with the way he’s handling the game at the minute and his use of the ball. His passing is very crisp and clean and he’s played very well since he came into the team. As has David Turnbull, with another goal [for his fourth in five starts].”

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