It might not feel like it – but Nir Bitton is now classed as one of the club’s longest-serving players, and when his contract is due to run out in 2023, he will have reached a testimonial year.
Speaking in a recent interview, the Israeli midfielder – who joined the club in 2013 admitted that it isn’t something he has ever thought about. It doesn’t look like he will be giving it any consideration either as he approaches a decade as a Celtic player.
He said: “I’ve not even thought about that, and it’s not about that for me”, as quoted by Sun Sport.
“I have been in Scotland for eight years now, and I don’t take it for granted. I have seen a lot of people come and go at this club. So I believe it’s a great achievement for myself to be at Celtic so for long.
“But it’s not about the length of time you are at one club. It’s about trophies and titles.
“When I first came to Celtic, I couldn’t have imagined being here for so many years.
“If you had said that to me, I would have said, ‘No chance’.”
When the midfielder/defender joined the club, I’m not sure many/if any could have predicted that he would still be with the club in 2021 and possibly for a few years to come.
In addition, during his time as a Hoops player, it has been a successful time in terms of trophies, but it has certainly been a rollercoaster journey over the years.
A famous one is, of course, Bitton having to fill in at defence for Champions League qualifiers year upon year.
In this day and age, testimonials appear to be going slightly out of fashion, and it is likely if the 29-year old were due one, he would be behind both James Forrest and Callum McGregor at that point.
However, I think it’s pretty safe to say we won’t be seeing one for Bitton if he sees out his current deal.
It would certainly be a surprise to the majority, anyway.
His focus, for now, will be on facing a few of his Celtic teammates, as his nation takes on Scotland for the seventh time in three years at Hampden this weekend.