Date: 16th September 2019 at 4:26pm
Written by:

Giving Nir Bitton a brand new deal is a no-brainer.

If he’s willing to sign it we should leap at the chance to nail him down.

When fit he is an integral part of the squad and equally capable both in defence and in the midfield.

This is too good a player to let leave.

I’ve always been a fan, since the day and hour he was signed.

I thought for a time that he was far and away the best deliverer of a ball in the Celtic team, and in Scotland.

An elegant, classy midfielder who could see an opportunity and make a defence splitting pass, that he’s been so able to deputise in central defence shows one of his most underrated qualities; he is cool and calm under pressure. That’s everything you look for in a player.

To replace Bitton would cost us millions.

People misunderstand the contribution he’s made to the club over the years of his deal. Since we signed him in 2013, he has made almost 200 appearances from Celtic, and only several periods of injury have kept him out of the side at times. But for them he’d be on 300 appearances and would be recognised as a legend.

He has been excellent when he has played for the first team; I remember only a handful of games in which he wasn’t a top performer.

And yes, there are issues as to whether or not he and Brown can play together in the midfield without it slowing the whole team down … but this is a consequence of Bitton being our only other defensive midfielder and a team is naturally slower with two of them in the side.

In some games, that slow pace works for you, although they are rare in Scottish football and in the SPL in particular.

Nevertheless, Bitton is a fantastic player, with great technical ability, and his loss would have been more keenly felt these past few years if our midfield wasn’t unbelievably strong. He would walk into any other team in the country and most clubs in Britain, in either of the positions where he’s played for Celtic these past couple of years.

I am delighted to see talk of his getting a new deal.

He will prove himself worthy of it one hundred times over. We will not regret giving it to him.

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