Celtic full-back Mikael Lustig has come under a lot of criticism this season, and he has been one of the glaring weakness at the back for the Hoops. The Swedish fullback’s performance has dipped in the past season, and he is often found wanting especially in the European games. The 31-year-old usually gets away with it during the domestic competitions, but Celtic should look to aim high in the future by replacing Lustig with a more versatile fullback.
However, for the first time Lustig opened up about his future, and he seemed pretty confident that he is going to be offered a new contract. Having entered the last year of his deal, not many fans would want him to extend his stay at Park Head given his performances of late, but the defender himself feels that he is going to stay at Park Head for much longer.
The 31-year-old was asked about his future to which he replied,”You can wonder as much as you want, but I have a contract with Celtic and I think I’ll play there next year too.” The fullback was shown a big vote of confidence recently as he has been captaining the side in the absence of Scott Brown who has been out through injury. However, it is more to do so with the fact that he is the longest-serving player at Park Head behind only Brown.
The way the player sounded, it seems that a contract is on the cards, but there have been no reports thus far of the same being offered. The Hoops were heavily linked with Cristiano Piccini, a right back in the summer and many expected him to be a replacement for Lustig in the long run. However, Piccini’s deal was not finalised and the Italian went on to join Valencia.
Lustig’s commitment and desire for the club cannot be questioned but he has been a significant defensive liability off late. Plus he doesn’t offer much while going forward as someone like Kieran Tierney does. And a fullback who can’t do that great of a job either in offence or defence, then Celtic should be ruthless in removing him in their pursuit to greatness.
However, he might be kept as a backup option and a new one or two-year deal might be signed by the player. The other right back option Cristian Gamboa is also in the final year of his deal and Rodgers might let him leave and keep hold of Lustig. Hopefully, the Bhoys wouldn’t persist with the Swede as the first choice right back beyond this season and sign a new fullback in January or in the summer.