Recently reports had emerged that Premier League outfit Burnley will look to make a £1m swoop for Celtic’s versatile midfielder Nir Bitton. The Israel international is currently in the final year of his contract, and the Clarets can sign him on a cut-price deal.
Bitton, who was largely injured and overlooked last season, showed his quality earlier this season while featuring as a defender. The 28-year-old is a defensive midfielder by trade but has slotted in seamlessly in the centre back role. Bitton even started for Celtic in defence in the all-important clash against Rangers where he was faultless for most parts.
McNamara talks about Bitton’s future
Former Celtic defender Jackie McNamara recently went on to suggest that Celtic have held talks regarding the future of Bitton. Speaking to Football Insider McNamara said, ”Time will tell what they want to do. They may have held talks already; obviously, we’ll find out in due course if he’s here past January and if he’s going to tie down a new deal, or if they give him a new deal before that. I think he’s stated that he wanted to stay. Looking at it, I think it’ll be a case of seeing where he’s at.”
Waiting past January to hand Bitton a new contract wouldn’t be advisable as Burnley are lurking in the background to sign him. Therefore we feel that Lennon and the Hoops’ hierarchy need to come with a decision soon regarding the versatile midfielder’s future.
What should Lennon do?
We believe that Bitton should be handed a new deal primarily because of his versatility. He has been a slightly forgotten man in the past few seasons due to injury issues, but once he is fit and running, he can still play an integral role in Celtic’s first team.
Why does Celtic need Bitton?
His physical stature and on the ball abilities make him a standout asset. He is a good reader of the game and is strong in the air as well. Scott Brown is still going strong in the middle, so Bitton is unlikely to get his chances in his primary defensive midfield position.
However, his defensive attributes still make him a crucial player in the roster since Simunovic has been injury prone. Kristoffer Ajer has been linked with a move away as well, and so keeping a versatile player like Bitton will come in handy for Lennon in the future.