Mikael Lustig’s future has been up in the air for quite some time now. The Swedish defender said in the last week of March that he would know about his situation in a few days. But here we are approaching the middle of April, and it is yet not clear what the Hoops would do with him in the summer.
Incidentally, Lustig has managed to win back his place ahead of Jeremy Toljan who has been quite sub-par after starting well. The 32-year-old defender also put on an impressive display in the derby, and maybe after his recent performances, he has boosted his chances of getting a new contract.
However, former Celtic player and Wales international John Hartson is still uncertain whether the Hoops would offer the experienced defender a new contract. He recently wrote a column in Evening Times and said, ”I am not sure if Celtic will decide to give Mikael Lustig another year even though I know that Neil likes him and has been playing him in recent weeks.”
We feel that the situation which Celtic find themselves in right now, they don’t have any other option but to offer a new contract to Lustig. The number of players who can depart from the club in the summer is staggering, and at the moment the club cannot afford to increase another headache by letting Lustig leave.
Why Celtic still need him?
Now in terms of performance, there is no doubt that the Hoops would want to see better options coming in. Lustig has been quite sub-par in games where has been tested defensively. In the Europa League this season, it was clear that the right-back was one of the weak points of the Celtic defence as Lustig struggled to cope with the quality of football.
However, the club will lose three backs in one window if they allow the Swedish international to move away. Cristian Gamboa and Jeremy Toljan are also in the final few months of their contract, and that would leave the club with no regular right backs in the squad. Letting Lustig go will also mean that the club will need to sign two right-backs in the summer.
What should be Lennon’s play?
We believe that Lustig should be offered a one or two year contract, and he can be kept as a backup option for the next season. The club should look to sign a younger and better option who can be the first choice option. Lustig’s experience and commitment can come in handy in a long season as he can fill in the right-back spot from time to time.