Nir Bitton has been handed a lifeline in his Celtic career in the most unlikely of positions.
Having seen his defence depleted by injury, Brendan Rodgers called on the Israeli to partner Jozo Simunovic at the back early against Rosenborg and for the Hearts opener.
Rather than be just sufficient in the role, the midfielder has excelled and even managed to set up Saturday’s opening goal with a fantastic pass latched onto by Leigh Griffiths who made a brilliant run and executed a tidy finish.
Nir has been on the periphery of the Celtic squad for some time; it seems like a lifetime ago since Stuart Armstrong ousted the player from his position in midfield with the 25-year-old used to a view from the bench these days.
Currently, Nir is showing the manager that he can be flexible and is a player worth keeping around and a lot of Celtic fans won’t argue with that.
Celtic’s defensive injuries are quite deep, with Sviatchenko, Boyata and Ajer all struggling with their respective problems, it must have been a relief to the manager that Nir has embraced the role.
Bitton is likely to be in the heart of defence again when Astana come calling in a week’s time, and the player is positive he can keep performing in the role. Showing Celtic fans who maybe thought his Celtic career was on borrowed time that there is a potential new lease of life around the corner for him.
However, when Celtic’s first team defenders come back into the fold, with limited spots up for grabs in midfield, the Israeli will have to keep on fighting for his position in the side – which is not necessarily a bad thing.
With three years left of his current deal, there could be more to come.