Celtic winger James Forrest has backed team-mate Mikael Lustig, labeling him “top class”.

The Hoops recruited Jeremy Toljan on deadline-day. Many supporters believe that he’s the successor to Lustig, who’s been plagued by errors this season.

Celtic also may have to be on the lookout for yet another right-back before next season. Brendan Rodgers confirmed on Celtic TV that the deal for Toljan is strictly a loan deal – brushing off any idea there was an option to buy.

Mikael Lustig has won plenty at Parkhead (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

But with Lustig into the final few months of his contract, his time at Parkhead could be coming to an end. That would upset team-mate and fellow right-sided player Forrest, who rhymed off Lustig’s qualities in the Daily Record today.

“What Mika has done for Celtic has been top class. I don’t know what he is going to do at the end of the season but I hope he stays.

“He’s a top professional, he has been a great player at international level too and I think he’s still as fit as he has always been. He has been contributing the assists recently as well and his confidence is pretty high just now.

“Defensively it’s great for me to know that he is playing behind me. He gives us good cover on that right side and he can also play centre-back too.”

Lustig’s achievements deserve credit

Lustig has played his part in each of the seven consecutive titles Celtic have won. Added to that, he’s been a key part of four separate Champions League campaigns – one of which seen the club make the last-16.

But, despite Forrest’s words here, Lustig has had his day. He’s now far too error-prone, as was shown in the last Glasgow derby match against Rangers.

Lustig and James Forrest have been playing together for seven years (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

He’s being left for dead far too often by wingers that should never be able to hurt Celtic. Saying his legs have gone seems cliche, but the truth is that’s exactly what’s happened to Celtic’s Swede.

Lustig has opened up about the possibility of moving back home if he leaves Celtic. At the moment, that’s looking like the best choice for everyone. A team back in his homeland would be getting a highly-experienced and well-traveled full-back. Lustig would be getting a fresh start in an easier league. And Celtic would be able to move out a player who’s been far too costly to them over the last year or two in particular.

But, for now, it appears he certainly has the backing of Forrest when it comes to staying put.

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