While Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic side currently find themselves on a run of six games without defeat, the recent hamstring injury suffered by Tom Rogic has highlighted the 56-year-old manager’s lack of depth in the middle of the park.
While the Bhoys boss does have the options of Ismaila Soro, Liam Shaw, Callum McGregor, James McCarthy and David Turnbull in central midfield, only the latter of these players could really be considered as an attack-minded midfielder.
Indeed, the lack of creativity and attacking impetus from the Celtic midfield was all too apparent in the 0-0 draw with Livingston last weekend, with the Hoops hitting the target with just two of their shots at the Lions goal and creating a mere three big chances against a side who rank 10th in the Scottish Premiership standings.
This is something that could be attributed to Postecoglou lining up with two defensively-minded midfielders in the shape of McGregor and Bitton, with the latter – despite a solid overall performance – offering very little in the way of creativity.
Indeed, over his 90 minutes on the pitch, the £14k-per-week man failed to make any key passes, created no big chances and did not attempt any dribbles, all of which contributed to Celtic’s lack of attacking edge.
As such, with the Hoops manager knowing that nothing but a win against Ferencvarosi TC will do if his side are to have any hope of qualifying for the Europa League knockout stages, this lack of creativity in the middle of the park is something the 56-year-old must address.
And, Postecoglou could well have a player who is incredibly well suited to playing in the 10 on Thursday evening – in the form of Kyogo Furuhashi.
Indeed, with Kyogo being adept at playing on either the left or right flank, as well as in a support striker role, the 26-year-old who has scored five goals and made an average of one key pass per game over his nine Premiership appearances this season, would appear to be a much better option for Celtic’s midfield in a must-win fixture than Bitton.
So, while the midfielder who Kris Commons dubbed an “incredible” player more than did his defensive job against Livingston, with much greater fire-power required against Ferencvarosi, Postecoglou simply must axe the £720k-rated man for the good of his side.