It’s not often that one of your best players of the season so far is also a divisive one, at least when it comes to financial matters.

I found this out the hard way last night, as my quoted post on X garnered a lot of heated responses from a vocal element of the Celtic support, all surrounding central defender Liam Scales. An article from the Daily Record reported that the Republic of Ireland international’s contractual situation is high on the priority list for the club, with his current deal set to expire in the summer of 2025.

The accompanying post from the news outlet has gained a bit of traction, with quite a few individuals pointing out how ‘unambitious’ this potential renewal would be if completed and confirmed, while others were lamenting how bad a deal this would be for the club as a whole, especially given the financial strength that the club has at their disposal to sign better defenders than the Irishman.

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To be honest, I cannot subscribe to either of these viewpoints, thanks to the events of this season as a whole. No matter what way you look at it, to call Scales – Celtic’s best and most consistent defender this season – an unambitious contract renewal is absolutely baffling. An ever-present since the 0-0 home draw against St Johnstone on August 26 of last year, Scales has not missed a single minute since stepping in as emergency cover, due to the untimely injuries to the likes of Cameron Carter-Vickers, Maik Nawrocki and Stephen Welsh.

This argument would hold no weight whatsoever if you based it solely on his first appearance that Autumn afternoon, as the side – and Scales – struggled to break down the bottom Premiership side at the time. Taking an age to get the ball out of his feet, the defender stuck out like a sore thumb, invoking the crowd to get on his back, thanks to the time it took the nervous defender to make a pass.

Just days later, emergency cover arrived in the shape of Liverpool’s Nat Phillips, with a six-month loan deal penned for the Englishman. Many would have seen this as being the end for Scales, but it seemed to be the opposite, as the loanee had to play second-fiddle to Celtic’s renaissance man throughout his short spell with the Scottish champions. This emergency cover became purely cover for Scales, as standout performances from the former Aberdeen alumni both domestically and in Europe allowed for Celtic’s number five to become a fully established member of the first team.

A player of the match performance against Rangers at Ibrox, coupled with spectacular showings against the likes of Atletico Madrid and Lazio, changed the perception of the defender completely in the eyes of many, as his name became one of the first on the teamsheet for those predicting Celtic’s starting 11 each week. If signing a player like this to extended terms is ‘unambitious’, then label me as such.

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The second point that I partially disagree on – concerning Scales’ position in defence – is that the club can do better than him in the transfer market. While they COULD do so, Celtic’s recent record concerning central defenders is sketchy at best. Nawrocki has only just got back into the team, while Gustaf Lagerbielke is unfancied by his manager at the club, with the only reason for his remaining being down to injuries to other players.

Looking further back, Moritz Jenz started well, although his stay at Celtic was a short one, meanwhile, the curious case of Japan’s Yuki Kobayashi continues to rumble on, with the defender nowhere to be seen this campaign. The aforementioned Phillips has already returned to his parent club, before joining David Turnbull at English Championship side Cardiff City. Apart from Cameron Carter-Vickers – who seems to be consistently injured at the moment – and the departed Carl Starfelt, can you trust the recruitment team to get their next defensive acquisition right? You're more patient than me if you can.

Forgetting all of that, Scales DESERVES his new contract thanks to his efforts in this campaign. Now a bona fide first-team player, he deserves the salary increase that corresponds with having such a job to carry out week-on-week. Not unlike the recent extensions handed out to players such as Anthony Ralston and his defensive partner Stephen Welsh, the club has identified that keeping good professionals in and around the team can only be a good thing for squad harmony. Continuity is key for any team, which Scales has duly delivered for Celtic this season at the back.

This pending – and seemingly imminent – renewal also goes a long way concerning Celtic protecting their assets, of which the defender has to be seen as one. At 25 years old, Scales is entering into his peak years as a player, which coincides with his step-up in form recently. From playing sporadically as a left-back under Ange Postecoglou, to honing his craft under both Jim Goodwin and Barry Robson at Aberdeen, it seems as if the player now knows where his best position is in the defence. If he can keep up this forward trajectory, then who is to say that he can’t attract attention from other clubs? After all, stranger things have happened in the past, and late bloomers are commonplace in the modern game.

READ MORE: Has Celtic's Scales done enough to earn a new deal? - video

Coming full circle, the extension of Scales divides those who follow the club, thanks to the optics that surround the player at present. Every so often, an individual comes along who proves himself game after game yet does not necessarily get the credit that he deserves. With that in mind, this contract could and would be the validation that Scales is due, with his wages being sufficiently increased as a result. Not every new deal has to be one with a clear view of a profit down the line, regardless of the model that the club are trying to follow.

An overused but important cliché is that certain establishments need to be on ‘the right side of history’. Celtic would be exactly that with a contract renewal to one of their most trusted lieutenants this campaign, despite the naysayers.