Charlie Nicholas selects his 2021 Scottish Premiership team of the year and SIX Celtic players are included

The former Hoops striker has named just two Rangers stars in his starting XI

Charlie Nicholas. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Former Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas has named his 2021 Scottish Premiership team of the year and despite failing to clinch a historic ten-in-a-row, SIX Celtic players are included.

However, the former Hoops striker has selected Rangers midfielder Joe Aribo as his overall player of the year.

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Writing in his Daily Express column, he said: “I am not surprised the Nigeria international is starting to attract interest from the English Premier League.

“He has grown into a player with a real responsibility in this Rangers squad.”

The rest of the team is as follows:

JOE HART (CELTIC) - GOALKEEPER

“He just edges my vote ahead of Dundee United’s Benji Siegrist.”

ANTHONY RALSTON (CELTIC) – RIGHT-BACK

“I wouldn’t have given Ralston a prayer of still being in the Celtic team a year or so ago but he has really improved and nailed down the right-back position.

Celtic's Anthony Ralston at full time during a cinch Premiership match between Ross County and Celtic at the Global Energy Stadium, on December 15, 2021, in Dingwall, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

“He lacks qualities in certain areas and is over-aggressive at times, but he has been consistent and dug Celtic out a few holes.”

JOHN SOUTTAR (HEARTS) – CENTRE-BACK

“Souttar has done so well to overcome terrible injury problems, get himself back to the top level and earn a recall to the Scotland national team.

CALVIN BASSEY (RANGERS) – CENTRE-BACK

“This selection might surprise a few people but I like the balance at the heart of my defence and Bassey, with his very good left-foot, would provide that alongside Souttar.

“The young Rangers stopper is a big, physical unit and dominant in the air. I think he has been better than Connor Goldson.

Calvin Bassey (left), pictured tussling with Livingston's Odin Bailey, has impressed new Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst with his recent displays in central defence.(Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

STEPHEN KINGSLEY (HEARTS) – LEFT-BACK

“Kingsley was a key player when Hearts won the Championship title and has carried that influence on to this season, with his team sitting third in the Premiership.”

TOM ROGIC (CELTIC) – CENTRAL MIDFIELD

“Rogic has always oozed quality but his dependability has been elevated to another level since Australian counterpart Ange Postecoglou took over the reins.

“It used to be that you’d only get an hour out of Rogic but now he is a player Celtic can rely on. He’s the ultimate game-changer.”

CALLUM McGREGOR (CELTIC) – CENTRAL MIDFIELD

“McGregor has become a natural captain for Celtic. He doesn’t need to go about kicking people because he leads with the ball and dictated how his team plays.

JOE ARIBO (RANGERS) – CENTRAL MIDFIELD

Rangers midfielder Joe Aribo has been in sparkling form for the Scottish champions in recent weeks. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“Aribo was excellent in the final three months of last season and has managed to maintain that form into the new captain while his team-mates Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos went off the boil.”

MARTIN BOYLE (HIBERNIAN) – WINGER / FORWARD

“Boyle has been his side’s most consistent player. There are times when his form has dipped but you could say the same about the Hibs team in general.”

KYOGO FURUHASHI (CELTIC) – FORWARD

Kyogo Furuhashi may miss Celtic's clash with Rangers.

“Ange Postecoglou is right, Kyogo is like a little jockey. Critics can pick holes in him for going down too easily but that would be harsh. The Japanese forward has been a breath of fresh air in Scottish football.

FELIPE JOTA (CELTIC) – WINGER

“Jota has excited a lot of fans and for good reason. He is an old-fashioned winger who can go inside or outside. The Portuguese knows how to deliver a great ball and has earned the right to be in this team.”