Why Celtic should quickly hand a new contract to Nir Bitton
Earlier this month, Celtic boss Neil Lennon told The Scottish Sun that talks are ongoing with Nir Bitton over a new deal.
Nir Bitton, 28, joined Celtic from FC Ashdod in 2013 during Neil Lennon’s first spell in charge and the player has since proved a valuable asset in multiple positions. The versatile midfielder came off the bench in Sunday’s Scottish League Cup final to bag his 14th winners’ medal in just over six years at Parkhead.
The Israeli star has battled back from a career-threatening cruciate injury to return to the squad and remains determined to secure a new contract. Keeping in mind that Bitton is halfway through the final year of his Celtic contract, the club must quickly thrash out a new deal for the 28-year-old.
Bitton’s new contract could be the morale booster to propel him towards living up to the standards once more. He has now recovered from the horrific injury he suffered a year ago and a new deal will come as a vote of confidence, which indicates the fact that he is still a part of Lennon’s plans going forward.
Bitton has been a bit-part player this season following his return from injury, yet the 28-year-old remains a crucial part of Celtic’s side and has been rejuvenated under Lennon’s tutelage. He clocked up his 200th Celtic appearance on Sunday against Rangers in the Scottish League Cup final.
The Hoops earned a gritty 1-0 win over Rangers to win the Betfred Cup, with Bitton coming on soon after Jeremie Frimpong was sent off. He proved crucial in shoring up the Celtic defence and keeping Rangers at bay to make it 10 trophies in a row. That simply showed how important a utility player the Israeli star is to Celtic.
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Bitton may not be a star but he’s been a valuable squad player over the years. His versatility to operate in a holding midfielder’s role and also in the back-line when needed adds more value to his name.
With more than 200 Celtic appearances to his name, Bitton has gained volumes of experience and the Hoops can now look forward to enjoying the fruits of his services for the foreseeable future.
At 28, Bitton still has a lot to contribute as a professional on the pitch. Keeping the Israeli would offer excellent cover for Celtic’s starting eleven, and he would play wearing his heart on the sleeves. Hence, it’s a no-brainer for the Bhoys to hand him a new deal.