Unexpected start for Bitton could have an impact on Celtic transfer plans

By John Reid

July 10, 2019

Neil Lennon’s Celtic team selection for the match against Sarajevo on Tuesday night contained an unexpected start at centre-back for Hoops utility man Nir Bitton.

Bitton partnered Jozo Simunovic in defence, with Kristoffer Ajer at right-back. Christopher Jullien was on the bench.

After a poor start to the game, Bitton and the rest of the Hoops defence got into their stride and Celtic won the match 3-1.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Manager has faith in player

The fact that Lennon was willing to play Bitton at centre-back shows that he has faith in the player to play in that position.

It could also have an impact on Celtic’s transfer plans.

(photo by Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Instead of signing another centre-back, Lennon might well deicide to use Bitton as a centre-back.

Possibly four centre-backs at club

It should be remembered that he has played there before for the Hoops. That would give the Hoops four centre-backs to choose from, when Jack Hendry is fit.

(Photo by Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Is that enough centre-backs for a team to have in its squad? For the moment, you would have to think so. That would allow Celtic to focus on other positions that need to be strengthened.

Bitton will presumably not feature that often at centre-back that often this season. Once Celtic sign a new right-back, Ajer will most likely compete for the centre-back role.

However, Bitton has proved that when called upon, he can do a job for the Hoops in defence.