I would count myself among those who questioned the Greek internationalist's commitment and bravery at times. Yet, what we have seen from him in the last 18 months has been outstanding.
His recent displays in the Champions League, where he has really stepped up to the plate and been arguably Celtic's most consistent performer, have been impressive and it makes sense for the club to get him tied up on a new deal before anyone comes calling for him.
I think he comes across as the type for whom money isn't the priority if he is enjoying his football.
He seems very settled at Celtic, he is playing well for Greece and there would be no rush for him to go anywhere.
I am sure he has caught the eye of a few clubs with the way he has played in Europe this season, but if he is receptive to staying at the club then it makes sense to get his contract organised.
It makes sound business sense for Celtic to be getting lads like Samaras, Joe Ledley and Anthony Stokes sorted out before the January window opens, just as it augurs well to be thinking ahead by getting someone like Mikael Lustig on a long-term deal.
Stokes is another one who seems to have matured hugely over the past year. We all grow up and learn from our mistakes and I do think he has started the season well.
He has always been a goalscorer domestically, but getting his off-field issues sorted, getting back into the Republic of Ireland squad and playing regularly at Celtic have all been massively beneficial for him and the three-year deal will give him security now.
But the bottom line is that everyone has a price.
There is no-one at the club who is not in danger of being courted by anyone else, and I include not just the manager and the players in the bracket, but also the likes of Peter Lawwell himself.
If you are doing a successful job with Celtic and maintaining the profile of the club in the Champions League, then you have to be in the shop window.
I think Celtic go about their business relatively sensibly. But it was interesting to note Peter's comments this week that there is a loose contingency plan in place should anyone come in for Lennon.
The chief executive also hinted there are players who leave the club and only then come to appreciate what they have walked away from.
As a player I left Celtic on a point of principle and what you do come to realise is just how strong the history is.
It IS a club where the traditions are passed through generations and there is a real heart and soul about the place.
I don't say that flippantly. There is a family feeling to Celtic where the bond between individual families feeds into the bigger family that is the Celtic support as a whole.
But right now, I don't think Neil will be thinking of going anywhere.
He knows what the club is all about - as did I - but I do think while the Champions League is what inspires him at the club and doubtless is a huge incentive to stay, it is also the very thing that will draw attention to him. There have been some suggestions of interest from elsewhere without ever having come to anything, but I think he is relishing the challenge of the job just now.
The pressure at the club is difficult to quantify. He would really have felt it this summer because there is an expectation Celtic should always be in the group stage, but getting there is not easy at all.
Professionally he will know what it means to be competing in that kind of environment and there are very few clubs where you can get that.
It may come to a point where you want to be tested in a more demanding league, but right now I think he is quite content.