AS we enter mid-October, Josh Doig's presence at Hibs is a welcome, yet unexpected one for the Leith faithful.

After a mightily impressive breakthrough season at Easter Road, which culminated in the left-back winning the SWFA Young Player of the Year award, the now 19-year-old was heavily linked with moves south of the border.

His manager, Jack Ross, openly admitted prior to their game at Fir Park on the opening day of the season Doig was likely to move on imminently as Watford continued to be linked, just as well Doig signed his new contract until 2025 a few months previously.

Since Celtic sold Kieran Tierney to Arsenal a couple of summers ago, the left-back position has remained a slight problem area. "Problem" is harsh on Greg Taylor who, without doing anything particularly badly, had the unenviable task of replacing one of Europe's best full-backs and just isn't as good as his predecessor. Boli Bolingoli was initially the intended replacement and, well, look how that's turned out. Whether Adam Montgomery is seen as a longer-term solution, or Liam Scales, remains to be seen and it's probably too soon, especially in Scales' case, to ascertain whether or not they're viable options for the next couple of seasons.

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It's probably not too soon to estimate Josh Doig's career path is likely to ascend on a steeper gradient than the four currently on Celtic's payroll. A stronger league than the Scottish Premiership will be his stage sooner rather than later, perhaps even too soon for the Hoops to add him to their list of players bought for a significantly smaller amount than for what they're sold.

He has been linked to Celtic since breaking into the Hibs first-team but those connections seem inevitable in the same way most impressive youngsters in Scotland are the subject of transfer flyers linking them to either of Glasgow's big two. And it's not only one of Scotland's biggest sides that've been reportedly considering Doig, but also two of the EPL's in Chelsea and Arsenal, where he'd ironically be behind Kieran Tierney in any pecking order.

Leicester and Man City are two others allegedly well aware of him but it was Watford who had a £2.5m bid rejected at the end of June. These links, no matter how speculative, suggest the bulk of his career will be spent where the big bucks are, much like 18-year-old Aberdeen right-back Calvin Ramsay, whom we proffered as a potential Celtic signing last week, but has Manchester United asking questions about his availability already.

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At Doig's age, playing regular senior football is critical for development. Moving to a club in England might slow down his progress while boosting his bank balance and he admitted earlier this year that seeing his name alongside the aforementioned English powerhouses on Twitter was "madness" to him.

In the same press conference, he admitted he has a great deal of admiration for and bases his game on, the player whose boots are yet to be filled at Celtic Park.

When Kieran Tierney broke through at the same age, he consistently performed to an exceptional level for Celtic. When comparing the two, KT played around 200 more minutes for Celtic during his breakthrough year in 15/16, as Doig did for Hibs last season. There are some differences and parallels in the way they play according to Wyscout, but it's clear to see from watching football with our eyes that they are both direct, brave and athletic full-backs. Surprisingly though, given this is what Tierney is largely known for, Doig easily outnumbers him in terms of progressive runs forward, which he did 59 times last season. When Tierney burst onto the Celtic scene under Ronny Deila he rampaged forward 26 times that season and then 41 times as part of Brendan Rodgers' invincibles team.

A progressive run is defined on Wyscout as "a continuous ball control by one player attempting to draw the team significantly closer to the opponent goal", whereas a dribble is "an attempt to move past an opposing player whilst trying to maintain possession of the ball", and Tierney's success rate under Deila was nearly two out of three, which Meatloaf told us ain't bad, and is certainly better than Doig's which, although isn't too shabby either, lurks just under the 50 per cent mark.

Celtic Way: Doig has plenty of space to drive into as the ball reaches himDoig has plenty of space to drive into as the ball reaches him

Celtic Way: Doig lays the ball off for Chris Cadden to put in a dangeous crossDoig lays the ball off for Chris Cadden to put in a dangeous cross

Tierney was also regularly lauded for the quality of his deliveries while at Celtic. These stats can be quite deceiving because a player can put in a wonderful cross that's classed as unsuccessful because nobody was bright enough to get in the correct position to receive it, but their crossing capabilities are remarkably similar with just under a third of each of their deliveries finding the feet, head or any part of a teammate's anatomy. In 14/15 though, Tierney attempted one more cross per game than Doig did last season, which checks out considering Celtic have possession of a football a lot more. The increased quality of Celtic's attack too helps Tierney, as he gained five assists in his first season, compared to just one for Doig last season.

In possession, they both lost the ball 14 times per game which seems like a lot but for reference, Andy Robertson did it 11 times per game during 18/19 when Liverpool won the Champions League. In short, Doig can and will improve on his ball retention, much like Tierney's did with his losses per game which are now the same as Robertson's.

Tierney wore his heart on his sleeve at Celtic and plays in the same vein at Arsenal; blood and thunder is the style he knows and loves and this is one stark difference between him and Doig. In Tierney's first season at Celtic, influenced and mentored by Scott Brown, he slide tackled to win the ball on 41 occasions. In the final 15 games of last season, Doig didn't make a single slide tackle and has only made two so far this campaign although, his success rate in defensive duels is better than Tierney's was back then by a single percentile. Both averaged between eight and eight-and-a-half ball wins (just under 66 per cent of their tussles) during their first seasons and Doig's timing seems to be almost impeccable; in the final third of the season, he made just one foul.

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These are, presumably, contributing factors in Hibs being in no rush to sell their asset and, when they do, making sure it's for the right price and higher than the current record-received fee at the club - Scott Brown to Celtic for £4.4m.

He's not Kieran Tierney but Josh Doig is very much his own man whose career path could take him to similar heights depending on his next few moves.

If Celtic are willing to pay the money, a similar amount as they paid West Ham for Albian Ajeti, they'll likely see a profit on that investment and are almost certain to witness the reward on the park.