NEIL LENNON has intimated he’s ready to use Nir Bitton on his way to nine in a row after the player got a solid pre-season under his belt and featured as a centre back against Sarajevo.

The Israeli international was out for over ten months with an injury and came back towards the end of last season. Currently, Nir is now in the last 12 months of his contract and will be free to speak to other clubs in January.

There could be a Celtic reprieve for the player though with Neil Lennon making it very clear Nir is in his plans going forward this season.

The midfielder has become a makeshift defender and has played in that position for Brendan Rodgers and Neil Lennon now. It’s hard to see how he will get a game ahead of others who are currently in the team if he was to move back into midfield.

He could just be a utility man who plugs a hole in the team when injuries occur. The way Neil Lennon is talking though, the midfielder could be set for some extended game time.

“I’m looking for a big season from Nir, no matter what position he plays.” he told SunSport.

“He’s had a very good pre-season after a bad injury. It was a concerted period out for him, ten months to a year.

“He played a few games for me last season, but he still had a little problem with his knee.

“Nir went away with Israel at the end of the season and has come back looking really good.

“We have now thrown down the challenge to him to step up and make an impact on the team. He has the game to do it.

“Nir is 27 and he’s a good athlete. There is more to come from him.

“But I have been very pleased with him so far. Nir can play at the back, but it’s not ideal.”


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