Johan Mjallby reckons Celtic defender Mikael Lustig has more to offer at Celtic Park despite his expiring contract, speaking to The Scottish Sun.
The former Hoops fan favourite is in town promoting the upcoming Scottish Cup semi-final against Aberdeen and has given his opinions on a variety of subjects relevant to the club right now.
Mjallby of course worked with Lustig as a coach when assistant to Neil Lennon during their four-year reign between 2010 and 2014, and he believes the Swedish international is currently an underrated member of the Celtic squad.
As quoted by The Scottish Sun, the 48-year-old said:
I don’t really know what’s happening but I love Mikael as a player and a person. He’s been a fantastic servant and it depends what the club wants and what Mikael wants.
Whatever they choose to do, I think you can always rely on Mikael.
He’s been a great servant and not only on the pitch, he’s great in the dressing room with the lads. I know that Jeremy Toljan is on loan and will probably depart after this season.
Mikael maybe doesn’t have the star quality with the way he plays the game. But everyone working in football really respects him for what he stands for.
He’s better on the ball than people give him credit for.
He is undervalued in Sweden as well to a certain degree if you talk with supporters. But the fact that he’s always a regular when Sweden play big games tells you everything.
Lustig’s current deal expires at the end of the season and with Jeremy Toljan’s loan also coming to an end, the Hoops are facing a situation where right-backs need to be signed this summer.
The 32-year-old, as mentioned by Mjallby, could still play a role though as back-up to a new first-team signing, having the experience and personality to be a real benefit to the club in the push for nine titles in a row.
The arrival of Toljan has been something of a wake up call for many supporters, who perhaps now realise that replacing the Swede won’t be that easy in the transfer market.
Has Lustig done enough to earn another season at Celtic Park? Have your say in the comments below…