Celtic have had an exciting week as they continue their preparations for the new season.
They’ve signed a plethora of new players including Liel Abada and Kyogo Furuhashi while the Hoops’ Champions League qualifying campaign kicked off on Tuesday.
On the chalkboard
Celtic looked productive in the final third against Midtjylland but unfortunately, they were only able to come away from their first-leg clash with a 1-1 draw.
One of the primary reasons was some lacklustre defending.
Stephen Welsh gave away a cheap free-kick that was plundered home when arguably, Vasilis Barkas, should have done a lot better to prevent it from going in.
Abada had opened the scoring for the Bhoys on his debut but his fellow countryman, Nir Bitton, let his side down once again.
He was given a second yellow card after a severe rush of blood. He was annoyed with Anders Dreyer for simulation and consequently, poked a finger in the attacker’s face which was enough to provoke his marching orders.
Should Celtic axe Bitton?
Bitton was somewhat of a liability last season and this latest calamity will do himself no favours with the Celtic supporters.
Speaking after his dismissal, Bhoys Analytics said on Twitter that he was a “walking joke.”
Celtic are planning to replace the exit-bound Kristoffer Ajer with the signing of Carl Starfelt from Rubin Kazan.
However, in order to improve on their dismal defensive record last term, they will also need to find a way to improve on Bitton.
The Hoops shipped 16 more goals than Rangers in the Premiership last season and without Ajer, you sense the gap will only grow larger.
Though, if Ange Postecoglou lands two capable centre halves, they should be able to narrow things instead.
Celtic have also been linked with a move for Hajduk Split defender Mario Vuskovic this summer, a player who should be an instant upgrade.
One of Bitton’s biggest criticisms is a lack of composure. However, Vuskovic doesn’t lack anything in that department.
After being named in the Guardian’s Next-Gen list for 2018, reporter Aleksandar Holiga was effusive in his praise: “He’s not just dominant in challenges but also exceptional in build-up play. He often scores goals and can score from free-kicks like a No 10.”
The young Croatian isn’t a typical defender but that’s what sets him apart from Bitton, a player who can be rather hot-headed.
A deal may cost Celtic in the region of £5m and after their defensive display on Tuesday evening in the Champions League, he’s clearly needed.
A defensive duo of Starfelt and Vuskovic has enormous potential at Parkhead.
AND in other news, As bad as Bitton: £5.5k-p/w Celtic dud who lost possession 19x massively let Ange down…
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