Celtic captain Scott Brown names Jozo Simunovic and Southampton star as two best defenders he's played alongside

Brown also discussed the impact that Simunovic's injury is set to have on the Hoops squad.

Celtic captain Scott Brown has outlined the impact that Jozo Simunovic's latest injury has had on the squad by insisting that the Croatian is one of the two best defenders he has played alongside in his entire career, the Evening Times reports.

The 21-year-old is out for the rest of the season, according to the Evening Times, after undergoing surgery on a knee injury, and now faces a battle to be fit for the European qualifiers at the start of next season.

And Brown explained how great a miss he would be to the Scottish Premiership side's squad by putting him alongside Southampton star Virgil van Dijk as one of the best.

"Jozo and big Virgil van Dijk would be the best defenders I have played with in my career," he told the Evening Times.

"It is a huge blow for us. But all he can do is get his head down and come back as soon as possible because I think he has been a big miss. It is difficult for him. Coming back and then breaking down is tough mentally but we have to hope that he will come back and stronger and better than before."

Although the Hoops skipper is full of praise for the Croatian, Ronny Deila's men do not appear to be missing his presence too much if recent results are anything to go by. 

The likes of Erik Sviatchenko, Dedryck Boyata and Charlie Mulgrew has impressed at the heart of the team's defence since Simunovic's last appearance, and in their last nine games in all competitions, they have conceded just three goals.

Nevertheless, the former Dinamo Zagreb man clearly has a tremendous amount of ability, and if he can put his injury problems behind him, then Brown will probably be backing the team to keep an even stronger defensive record in the future.

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