Swedish right-back Mikael Lustig has been a loyal servant for Celtic in the past six years, and his contract is set to expire in the summer of 2019. The right-back is currently the captain of the side in the absence of regular captain Scott Brown who is missing due to injury. However, Brendan Rodgers should look to move on to a new beginning by next summer as Lustig at the moment hasn’t done enough to earn a new contract at Park Head.
Lustig has been behind glaring errors so far this season and has particularly been found wanting in the demanding Europa League ties. Chris Sutton, the former Celtic and England striker who was co-commentating on the match, blamed Lustig for Leipzig’s equaliser.
He had said,”Lustig has to do better in that situation. He has to get around the player to stop the header, it’s where the danger is. He needs to react quicker. It’s a free header and he’s looking at Boyata. It’s not Boyata’s fault. Lustig is marking space.”
As mentioned, this is not the first time that he has been questioned this season and the only reason why Lustig is starting every game is because Rodgers doesn’t have a real plausible option at the moment. The fullback usually gets away with it in the domestic league given Celtic’s overall quality but if the club harbour hopes of improving in Europe then the Bhoys needs to part ways with him in the next summer.
One cannot fault his desire, passion or commitment for the club but it’s clear that his powers are waning now that he is on the wrong side of the thirties. Fullbacks are currently one of the most important and demanding positions in modern day football as they are required to do everything on the pitch from attacking one side to defending on the other. They are expected to carry the ball well from the back and to have decent crossing abilities as well.
Rodgers often demands his fullback to go forward and a more young and able fullback can take this team to another level. Lustig has had an illustrious career at Park Head and has made over 200 appearances for the Hoops. The other way out for the club could be to renew his deal with lesser wages and keep him as a backup option for the right back spot and the club should go on and sign a new fullback either in January or in the summer.
The Hoops have been linked with Iranian fullback Milad Mohammadi but he is predominantly a left back. It would be interesting to see whether the manager would continue to use Lustig as the first choice right back beyond this season.