Hoops boss Neil Lennon could be forced into the selection of on-loan right-back Jeremy Toljan this Sunday when Steven Gerrard’s Rangers visit Celtic Park.
As reported by The Daily Record, Mikael Lustig is a real injury doubt for the upcoming derby after sustaining a thigh injury on international duty with Sweden.
The 32-year-old has been heavily criticised by Celtic supporters over the last 18 months but in comparison to Toljan is still seen as the prime option in the right-back slot.
Lustig’s all-round game is certainly diminishing as he grows older and his long-term future is in doubt, but for occasions such as Sunday’s then he still provides the character, experience and leadership needed to get results.
Toljan arrived with a bit of fanfare on loan from Borussia Dortmund in January and did catch the eye of supporters in his first couple of appearances, clearly possessing more pace and attacking intent than the veteran Swede.
Since then though he has struggled to win over fans, with many criticising his attitude and desire. He simply doesn’t look like he cares that much and in the cauldron of Celtic Park this weekend there will be no room for passengers.
That Lennon is having to potentially rely on the 24-year-old is bad news.
Ten points ahead of the Ibrox side, there is less pressure on this one than there could have been but it’s still a match that Lennon needs to win given the implications it could have on his long-term job prospects at the club.
He would likely much prefer leaning on players he knows and trusts and Lustig certainly falls into that category.
Let’s hope the Swede recovers in time.