Celtic’s Jozo Simunovic turned back the clock in the recent 3-0 Scottish Cup semi-final win over Aberdeen. The centre-back was at his imperious best in the game.

Alongside his centre-back partner Kristoffer Ajer, Simunovic strolled through the game, handling the threat posed by Sam Cosgrove, and almost scored with a fine shot that was just tipped round the post.

Performance reminiscent of past glories

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It was a performance reminiscent of Simunovic’s 2016-17 season, where he and Dedryck Boyata were the key men at the back for the Hoops, and helped the team go through an entire domestic season unbeaten.

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Since then, Simunovic has struggled to recapture that form. But his performance against Aberdeen certainly bodes well for his future at the club.

Future could also depend on manager

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That could also depend on Neil Lennon getting the Celtic job on a permanent basis. It is clear that Lennon likes Simunovic, which is why he picked him to start the Aberdeen game over Filip Benkovic.

 

Should Lennon get the job, his centre-back pairing could well be Simunovic and Ajer. They were excellent against Aberdeen and should continue as partners until the end of the season. It would set the pairing up nicely for the upcoming Champions League qualifiers.

Simunovic’s contract at Celtic runs until 2021, so he still has time to re-establish himself in the Hoops team. Sunday was a good start to that process.