Celtic midfielder Nir Bitton played his first 90 minutes since returning from injury. The Israeli featured in his side’s 3-1 defeat at Austria last night.
Bitton has been out since Celtic’s heroic win away at Ibrox in September. However, the side he is returning to is different than the one he left – does he still have a part to play?
Will Nir Bitton slot back into the Celtic team?
The 27-year-old has had a topsy turvy time at Celtic and is constantly in and out the team.
A season long injury also kept him from playing a large part under Brendan Rodgers. However, he is finally back and playing after starting centre-back at the beginning of this season.
Since though, it’s been Christopher Jullien and Kristoffer Ajer that have been filling the role.
Jozo Simunovic is out injured in the meantime. Perhaps with Bitton returning, there will finally be competition for Jullien and Ajer.
It’s much needed too following the Hoops’ last defeat Livingston where both players had a howler.
There’s no doubting Bitton had a fantastic opening season despite several doubters at the time.
His calmness and composure really helped The Bhoys through their early Champions League qualifying campaign.
Now, Bitton will be eyeing on displacing Ajer or Jullien but one of them is a cert to take some time away.
Norwegian defender needs a break from Hoops action
Ajer isn’t having the best time of it of late and is showing immaturity when it comes to his defending. Despite breaking through to perhaps be first choice, his last couple of games are throwing doubts into the air. His recklessness and diving into tackles, as well as mistiming them, has been a lingering problem.
Alternatively, Bitton is a calmer and more experienced player despite being a defensive midfielder by trade.
Ajer needs a spell on the sidelines to regroup. Once he feels right, Neil Lennon can stick the Norwegian back in and everyone will see his progression.