Mikael Lustig’s Celtic career is definitely one of extreme success, but time must surely now be up.

The Swedish international has been an absolute hero for the double-treble winners. Making over 250 appearances for Celtic, Lustig has shown his loyalty to the club more than anyone.

This has been backed up with a sensational seven-in-a-row run that Lustig has been involved in from the start. Arriving in January 2012, the big Swede has simply won it all at Celtic now.

Mikael Lustig continues to be a liability in Europe (Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Unfortunately, however, the journey just simply has to come to an end. Despite his impressive career stats, Lustig is far too slow to continue as Celtic’s first-choice right-back. Lustig tends to get caught of position and doesn’t look comfortable on the ball in his own half.

Many opposition sides have started to target him, and rightly so. His lack of pace and occasional positional awareness is a great source of reward for opposition sides.

Easily exploited

Take just last Thursday for example. Leipzig came to Celtic Park and were on the brink of a poor defeat. Twice in the final few moments, Kampl exploited Lustig’s side with his pace and got in on goal on both occasions. Better finishing and the Hoops would’ve left that contest with nothing.

There were plenty of moments Lustig did capably in the contest, of course. But despite that, he’s become a liability and he isn’t one to be trusted to put in a reliable performance.

Cristian Gamboa is the back-up to Lustig, but Brendan Rodgers appears to trust him a lot less.

Cristian Gamboa doesn’t get a look in at Parkhead (Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Therefore, Celtic simply must do everything in their power to upgrade on their big Swede in January. If Celtic are to squeeze through to the Europa League last-32, Lustig will cost them. His weaknesses are easily exploited on the European stage as we’ve seen in the past.

Yes, he wears police hats and does funny dances after scoring against Rangers, but there comes a time when it’s time to evolve. Keeping Lustig at right-back threatens the evolution of this Celtic side.

Of course, that’s not to say he shouldn’t get the new contract he requires. Celtic can easily justify keeping him on, just not as first-choice.

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