Saturday, June 10, 2023

Lennon Wants Defender To Continue At Parkhead: Should The Celtic Board Comply To His Wishes?

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Ayush Chaurasia
Sports Management Graduate. Wannabe sports manager/writer and researcher. If not found disscussing about sports, will be seen talking about movies or tv shows. Miserable rest of the times.

Celtic have secured the treble, and Neil Lennon has been offered the job permanently at Parkhead. Once he delivered the treble, he was always going to be a favourite to take over. The fact that he was already involved in planning for upcoming transfers indicated that there was always just one runner for the top job.

The boss is going to have a massive task at his hand as quite a few players are expected to leave the club. Lennon will need to make an overhaul of the squad in almost all the areas, and the upcoming transfer window is going to be a crucial one for the club. 

What did Lennon say about Lustig?

One player who is set to depart from the club is Mikael Lustig. However, Lennon openly admitted that he would want him to continue. When asked whether the Scottish Cup finals was Lustig’s last game, he said (Daily Record, Live Transfer Blog- 9:21), ”I hope not. It could be, he was very emotional at the end. But I’d love him to stay. He’s done the full eight with three trebles as well. He couldn’t have done any more. He’s a brilliant player.”

It’s clear that Lennon is in favour of giving him a new contract and it remains to be seen whether the board would comply with the manager’s choice. Celtic will have too much on their plate in the transfer window, and they need to think carefully before letting experienced players leave.

Why should the club offer him a new deal?

Lustig is linked with a move to Swedish outfit Malmo. As things stand, the club can lose as many as three right backs in the same window. Therefore even though Lustig has had a below par season, he should be offered a new short term deal.

There is no doubt that Celtic needs to look for an upgrade over the Swedish right back as he struggled for the most parts of the season. The signing of Jeremy Toljan from Dortmund also didn’t work as the German was poor defensively. The club has been linked with plenty of right backs in the past year or so, but they have not been able to solve their problem area. Moreover, the struggle of Toljan showed that Lustig might not be that bad an option.

We feel that the board should listen to Lennon and offer the experienced defender a short term contract. Celtic should look to sign a new young and reliable right back in the summer. Keeping Lustig would add less pressure on the transfer team, and if the new player takes time to settle in at the club, an experienced defender can fill in for him when required.

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