Ronny Deila tips Kieran Tierney to become a Celtic great after sensational first full season

Tierney has become a first-team regular for the Scottish Premiership side this season.

Ronny Deila is confident that Kieran Tierney has the potential to become a Celtic great and insisted that he plans to follow the youngster's progress even after he has left Parkhead at the end of the season, the Evening Times reports.

The left-back's emergence into the first-team has been one of the major positives in a season that has seen the Hoops virtually wrap up a fifth Scottish Premiership title in a row. 

And while Deila believes that the 18-year-old has room for improvement, he admitted that he is excited to see how good the player can become, even though he will not be the manager of the club.

"Kieran has to keep on developing next season," he told the Evening Times. "But he will. I am quite sure of that because he is a boy who just loves playing football and if he keeps that spirit and philosophy then he will keep getting better.

"It has pleased me so much this season to see him improve; when he first came into the team he struggled a little bit with challenges in the air but you can see now that he is getting stronger there. Technically he can still be better but with experience he will be a great Celtic player.

"I will watch him next season because I love to see players getting better."

While many sides are forced to give teenagers that have come through the academy a prolonged chance due to injury, or decide to do it because they see a player who will be ready to hold down a first-team spot in the future, Tierney's performances suggest that he has earned the chance simply because he is the best left-back in the squad.

As well as his defensive work, the youngster is not afraid to get down the line and offer support in attack. His five league assists puts him behind just two players in terms of the most productive in the Hoops' squad.

And the next Bhoys boss will be confident that with a full campaign under his belt, Tierney can continue to improve at the incredible rate that his game has so far.

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