Celtic’s defeat against Bayer Leverkusen was disappointing in the end for the manner in which things turned out, with the Hoops conceding two late goals to come out of the game with nothing to show for their good performance. But it showed progress for the team and some players in particular. The previous contest between the two sides had ended up 4-0 in the German club’s favour but this time around, it went right down to the wire.
Nir Bitton has seen a fair few European nights during his time at Celtic. He has at times been called upon in a variety of roles and positions too, often as cover for injured or unavailable players. Lately he has come back into the starting XI to take up a place as a defensive midfielder.
That’s allowed Ange Postecoglou to cover the gap left by Tom Rogic’s injury and also to move Callum McGregor to a slightly more advanced position.
In recent games, Bitton has impressed fans in that role. Before this spell, he had not featured much this season and didn’t seem to be a big part of Postecoglou’s plans. Now though, one has to wonder what his role in this team will be moving forward.
Has Bitton won his place as a starter for Celtic?
Thursday’s game again showed Bitton’s value in midfield. He took some time to settle into the game but ultimately put in a strong performance breaking up play and distributing the ball well.
He took a knock in the second half and had to be subbed off. That could have been the turning point in the game, as Celtic conceded twice not too long afterwards and it ended in a 3-2 defeat for the club.
Hopefully the injury won’t be anything too serious and Bitton will be available for the Hoops soon. At the moment though, his participation in the upcoming game against Aberdeen seems to be in doubt and James McCarthy might end up featuring instead.
This article was originally posted here