Nir Bitton may be back and ready to fight for his place, but now could be the time to push him out the door.
The Israeli has been out since Feberuary last year, meaning he’s been injured for nearly a year now. This was due to a knee injury that required surgery, with his recovery taking a long time.
Fortunately for Bitton, he’s now back and ready to get going again. The man Celtic signed back in August 2013 has been at the club for five and a half years now.
But despite that, he isn’t a luxury Celtic can afford in the midfield.
At times, Bitton either shirks challenges or goes in far too full-blooded. Added to that, he’s sloppy in possession and loses concentration far too easily at times.
Before his injury, he was struggling massively to make an impression on Brendan Rodgers’ midfield. And it’s now difficult to see where Bitton can get back into the side.
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He has a plethora of players ahead of him in the pecking order. Olivier Ntcham, Scott Brown, Tom Rogic, Ryan Christie, and Callum McGregor are just some of the talents ahead of the Israeli. Even Youssouf Mulumbu, who has yet to play in a league game this season, is more highly-rated than Bitton.
Not too long left on the contract
Therefore, with the former Ashdod star back in contention and with just 18 months to go on his contract, Celtic could do with making their move to sell him now.
If the Hoops ever go back to needing Bitton in the midfield, it will only be in case of an emergency. Like it or not, that’s where he now is in the Parkhead pecking order.
He’s made over 100 appearances for the Hoops, but time is ticking on his time at Parkhead. Any hopes of a new contract are surely minimal, and Celtic must just see him as another body.
But if Brendan Rodgers is still keen not to lose him permanently, then a loan move must be sanctioned.
He won’t see much in the way of game-time here this season, or shouldn’t anyway. A move to another Premiership club temporarily would allow Celtic to see what level he’s currently operating at.
For now, however, time must be ticking on the fit-again star’s future in Glasgow.