How Erik Sviatchenko is likely to feel about returning to Celtic

By David Walton

June 16, 2021

FC Midtjylland centre-back Erik Sviatchenko is likely to bite the hand off if the opportunity to return to Celtic pops up.

Last night, reports surfaced that he was on a list of defensive targets for new manager Ange Postecoglou [Daily Record]. It was claimed that there’s a buyout clause in his contract that the Hoops could trigger should they want to push a deal through.

Sviatchenko has been a standout in Denmark since returning home. However, when he initially left Celtic in 2018, it’s fair to say it was through the back door. He went from Invincible treble-winner to Celtic outcast, and after a loan period with Midtjylland, he was snapped up permanently.

So does he hold any resentment? Would it stop him from wanting to come back to Glasgow should the opportunity arise again? By his own account, no chance. After leaving the club, he spoke in December 2018 about how it was his “dream” to one day return to Parkhead.

As quoted by the Scotsman, Sviatchenko said: “I don’t want people to feel sorry for me. Here we are a year later and I am back in Denmark and I have won the championship and my career is going well. But in those last couple of months when I was leaving Celtic, I would have hoped for a different kind of farewell.

An exciting seven days for Celtic fans is about to get underway

“My dream would be to play for Celtic again.

“But it’s not up to me. It’s up to the manager and the board. They know me and they know what I am capable of. I feel I didn’t really say a proper goodbye to Glasgow.”

Erik Sviatchenko to Celtic shouldn’t be difficult to pull off

It doesn’t look as though there would be any pushback from Sviatchenko here. Unless his views have changed dramatically over the last few years, he’s likely still open to a return.

He was pretty strong in how he came across. Calling it his “dream” is telling. He felt he had unfinished business when he left here, and would undoubtedly relish the opportunity to try and win the Scottish Premiership title back.

There hasn’t been any information revealed regarding how much the clause in his buyout clause will cost to trigger. However, it’s unlikely to be anything major or unaffordable for Celtic.

Scott Brown, Moussa Dembélé and Erik Sviatchenko / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

So long as this would be an Ange Postecoglou signing and nobody else’s, then I’m all for it. I have my own reservations about whether Sviatchenko can still operate at this level. However, his performances in the Champions League last season suggested he could.

But we have to back the manager. We can’t question his signings from day one and start adding more and more doubt onto whether he’ll be a success. So long as the club is bringing in the players he wants, as Celtic fans it’s only right we see what they have to offer before judging them.

There are no guarantees as of yet that we’re even making a move for Erik either. But if we do, it doesn’t look as though he’ll be tough to persuade.

In other news, take a look at our news report on the Sviatchenko pursuit.