James Forrest is just 28, and looks as youthful now as he did when he broke into the Celtic first-team almost a decade ago.
But if he continues to win medals at the rate he has over the past few years, he’s going to end up looking like one of the Chelsea Pensioners!
To date, he was won eight league titles, five Scottish Cups and four League Cups. It’s an incredible haul.
So for Celtic to get him tied down to a new four-year contract is excellent business.
It will be one less thing for Neil Lennon to be concerned about, knowing he has one of his top players secured until summer, 2023.
That will take James well into the bracket of being entitled to a testimonial, something very unusual these days.
I would imagine one or two people would use such loyalty as an opportunity to accuse James of lacking ambition.
What utter nonsense.
Honestly, what goes through the minds of people when they feel the need to turn something positive into a negative?
If the lad is comfortable where he is and enjoying life on and off the park, then why leave?
He doesn’t need to justify this decision to anyone. As long as he is comfortable with it, then that’s all that matters.
If one of our own clubs is doing business to keep one of the best players in the country, that should be applauded.
Equally, if James were to decide any time in the future that he wants to try something different and play in another league, then he should also be applauded.
The bottom line is that there is no right or wrong.
Life is not a rehearsal. You get one shot at it and you need to do what you feel is best for you and your family.
That was my way of thinking when I decided to leave Celtic in 1977.
I wanted to try something different, and ended up at Liverpool, going on to win English League titles and European Cups. I was later appointed manager.
I didn’t leave Celtic because there was a fall out, or I felt badly treated, or we were in dispute.
It was simply time for a change and I explained myself at the time.
Jock Stein wanted me to stay, and I took that as a compliment. But I had to stay strong and stand my ground.
But I always had full gratitude towards Celtic Football Club. They gave me my start in football and, had it not been for them, I would never have ended up at Liverpool.
I count myself extremely fortunate and privileged to have played for two magnificent football clubs with fantastic supporters.
If we are all being totally honest, a decade ago I don’t think any of us would have predicted such a successful career for James Forrest.
I don’t mean that in a detrimental way. It’s just so unusual for a kid to come through the ranks, stay so long and win medal after medal.
Neil Lennon gave him his big chance in 2010 and he has been a solid servant ever since.
He was plagued with hamstring injuries for two or three seasons and that hampered his progress.
Thankfully, he has rid himself of those problems.
In the past three seasons, he has been one of the most-consistent players in Scottish football, and was fully deserving of his Scottish Football Writers’ and PFA Player of the Year awards last season.
Apart from the creativity he brings, he has also added a number of important goals to his achievements.
He must be a nightmare for full-backs to mark because he is comfortable going down the right-hand side, or cutting in and on to his left foot.
For the national team, he is well on his way towards winning 40 caps, and I would fancy him to get to the half-century and into the Hall of Fame long before he hangs up his boots.
Whatever happens to James in the future, I’m sure he will always feel so lucky to have been part of Celtic during this exciting period in the club’s history.
He is playing in front of 60,000 most weeks and enjoys the backing of the support. They are fully appreciative of what he does for the team and the quality he brings.
There is no doubt, as Celtic chase domestic and European success this season, James will play a vital role.
He will be dreaming of adding more medals to his collection and winning nine-in-a-row will be at the forefront of his mind.
Come May, if they get there, James and Scott Brown will take enormous satisfaction as they will have led the charge, season after season.
But James will be the first to admit that there is still along way to go and many hurdles to overcome.
However, with him in the team and his long-term future settled, Neil Lennon will feel much more confident that his side can win the title again this season.