Greg Tansey believes Carl Tremarco can still play at the top level after leaving Caley Thistle.
Tremarco, the Inverness captain, will leave in the summer when his contract expires and Tansey said he has been a “victim of circumstance” due to the coronavirus outbreak.
With no indication of when football will be able to resume, clubs will find it difficult to offer contracts to players and many will face an uncertain summer.
The departure of Tremarco has been more keenly-felt among the supporters, given his popularity and length of service with the Caley Jags.
Tansey played alongside Tremarco between 2014 and 2017, winning the Scottish Cup in 2015, and reckons he can still cut it at the top of the Scottish game.
He said: “He’s got his coaching ventures but he’s got at least a couple of years left in him at the highest level. It’s obvious for me to say that because of the performances he’s put in this season.
“I feel sorry for him but he’ll be fine. I hope it was a really tough decision for Inverness to do that. In this uncertain time clubs have got to get act accordingly and be stringent with the budget. But it’s sad all round for parties.
“I guarantee Inverness would not want to let him go. He’s vital in that dressing room. He’s been there and done it. It would have been a very tough decision to let him go but clubs have to act accordingly, with the way the climate is right now.
“He’s a victim of circumstance. If none of this had happened, Carl would have been there until at least the end of next season. That’s pretty obvious. When this all settles down with this virus, I don’t think he’ll be short of suitors.”
Tremarco has done his coaching badges and had been coaching Caley Thistle’s under-16s side, as well as running his The Other Foot football school in Ross-shire.
The 34-year-old made 204 appearances after joining from Macclesfield in 2013. He scored the winning goal in the Challenge Cup final in 2018 and became club captain after the departure of Gary Warren in that summer.
Tansey added: “As soon as I came in, after a couple of training sessions you get what Carl is about. Hard-working, honest, gives 100 per cent – never mind in games, in training sessions he’d run through brick walls for a manager.
“On top of that he’s got quality. He’s a leader and I can’t speak highly enough of him. He’s really bought into Inverness, moving his family up there and putting his kids in school.
“Over the seven years, he’s been an eight out of 10 every week. It’s a no-brainer for a manager to sign him.”