For the first time, Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers indicated that the club could give right-back Mikael Lustig a new contract somewhere around the January transfer period. The fullback who is currently captaining the side in the absence of Scott Brown has also drawn interest (FotbollDirekt) from him homeland club AIK. But it seems like the Hoops could look to offer him a new deal which will keep him at Park Head beyond this season.
A few weeks back Lustig opened up about his contract situation and claimed that he is going to stay for another year at Glasgow. Now Rodgers also talked on similar lines and was quoted as saying (Via The Daily Record),”Mika’s been a great servant. Probably over the course of this winter, which is a busy period, we can sort it(Future of the defender) out.
“There’s maybe something we can look at with that. There are one or two players contract-wise who we need to sort out as a club. At this moment Mika’s playing really well. I’ve loved working with him. When I came into here there was a question mark over the number of games he could play. But his availability to train and for games has been exceptional.”
The manager probably knows that spending on a new right-back would cost the club big money and Rodgers plainly indicated that Lustig can still do a decent job for the Bhoys. However, we feel the Swedish international has been found wanting, especially in European games and if the club is looking to raise its bar, then they need to look for a new right-back soon.
Defensively, the soon to be 32-year-old has been poor and has been behind some costly mistakes so far this campaign. However, his commitment and willingness to give it all for the team cannot be questioned. However, in terms of abilities, his powers are certainly waning ever since he has touched his thirties.
Celtic were linked (The Express) with Connor Roberts, but the Swansea City right-back recently signed a new deal. Therefore, he seems to be out of the equation right now. The Bhoys were also linked (The Daily Mail) with Cristiano Piccini in the summer who went on to join Valencia.
Lustig has been at the club since the past six years, and we believe that he can carry on for another year or two but only as a backup option. Cristian Gamboa the other right back is also in the final year of his deal, and it does not seem like he would be getting a new contract.
Therefore, Rodgers can’t lose two of his right back at the same time so giving another short-term deal to Lustig would make sense, and if the club goes on to sign a promising right back in the next two transfer windows, that would be just about perfect.