BT Sport pundit and former Celtic star John Hartson believes the club needs to find a long-term replacement for right-back Mikael Lustig this summer, as reported by The Evening Times.
Lustig has been with the club for over seven years, winning an impressive 14 trophies in that time, many of which he’s been a key contributor to.
Now 32 though, his performances are continually called into question and many fans feel like his time as a first-choice defender in the starting eleven is coming to an end.
Hartson agrees, feeling if he does stay at Celtic next season it should only be in a back-up role.
As quoted by The Evening Times, the former Welsh international said:
To my mind, Celtic need bodies through the door this summer, and it is clear that at 32, Lustig is not the long-term solution in his position. I would like to see a younger, first-choice right-back brought in, but I do wonder if Celtic may see the value in keeping Lustig around.
He has huge experience, having seen and done it all at the club during his years of really good service, and it might not be the worst thing in the world to have him around the place for another season even as a back-up, if he was amenable to playing such a role.
Lustig himself may decide of course that the time has come to head home, with AIK already confirming they are keen to land him in the summer, and if he does decide to leave then I’m sure he will go with the thanks of every Celtic supporter for what he has done for the club over the years.
It’s true that Lustig could be for the off, with his current contract at Celtic Park due to expire come the end of the season.
I have to say, that despite almost constant criticism of the Swedish international from fans, I agree with Hartson in terms of Lustig staying as a back-up option.
Signing one first-team quality right-back will be hard enough in the summer, never mind two, and Lustig can help bridge the gap between his era at Celtic and the next one.
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