Chris Sutton delivers verdict on Erik Sviatchenko Celtic rumours

By John McGinley

June 20, 2021

Chris Sutton reckons there is value for Celtic in pursuing a move for former defender Erik Sviatchenko.

The Invincible was sensationally linked with a return to Scotland last week ahead of the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round draw against FC Midtjylland.

That subsequent draw confirms he will be to be returning to Celtic Park in some capacity. But will it be a big transfer?

It seems unlikely that Midtjylland would be willing to do transfer business before that tie, but a move later this summer doesn’t seem out with the realms of possibility.

Celtic need defenders. Sviatchenko is affordable and has a track record of performing well in a hugely successful Hoops team.

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Sutton is on board.

He told The Daily Record this weekend: “I don’t think it would be the worst move bringing him back to Glasgow. It was a little bit surprising to see him being allowed to go in the first place. He always looked fairly decent in his time in Scotland.

“Don’t get me wrong, he didn’t pull up any trees. But he always seemed to me to be a reliable defender. He’s not the tallest, but he’s got a decent leap, and it would be a big plus when there’s going to be so many changes to be able to recruit a guy who knows what the club and the league are all about.

“Sviatchenko wouldn’t cost the earth, and he’d certainly strengthen an area of the team that needs bolstering.”

Celtic move for Sviatchenko would represent regression, but also…

I’m kind of with Sutton here. I get the perception of signing a player was considered not to be good enough for Celtic before. I understand he was never the quickest of players.

However, I can’t deny he’s a more appealing defensive option to me than Nir Bitton and Stephen Welsh. No harm to those two, but Sviatchenko has consistently performed for Celtic during more successful periods.

Celtic are interested in re-signing Erik Sviatchenko / (Photo by Lars Ronbog / FrontZoneSport via Getty Images)

With Kristoffer Ajer on the verge of leaving and Christopher Jullien still recovering from a severe injury, I can see the appeal from Celtic’s point of view.

It’s not a transfer anyone will be turning up at the stadium for, but it could well be a functional move. Functional sounds pretty good right about now, considering the state of Celtic.

In other news, Celtic, Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig want to sign Viljami Sinisalo.