Nir Bitton is one of the most enigmatic players to grace Celtic over the last few years.
Standing at a height of 6 foot 4, the centre-back has all of the tools to be a standout and dominant figure at Parkhead.
However, for one reason or another, the Israeli has often found himself coming off second best and ridiculed as a result.
He was shoddy at times last season but he didn’t start life under Ange Postecoglou very promisingly either.
Bitton was sent off against Midtjylland in the Champions League and was then at fault as Hearts beat Celtic on the opening weekend too.
The centre-back was beaten to the ball by John Souttar who found the back of the net with a late header.
Postecoglou quickly lost faith in the 29-year-old and after he was described as a “walking joke” by Bhoys Analytics, you can hardly blame him.
Carl Starfelt who was signed from Rubin Kazan has taken his place but they also landed Cameron Carter-Vickers on loan just minutes before the deadline last week.
The American is a composed defender who should add a great deal to the side, especially as he buys into Postecoglou’s passing methods. For instance, he completed 84% of his passes on loan at Bournemouth last term.
Yet, with Carter-Vickers walking through the door, it appears to have been a wake-up call for Bitton.
When he and fellow countryman Liel Abada headed off on their travels a week ago, few would have expected the former to stand out more.
However, in consecutive games for Israel, the centre-back has been imperious. During their 4-0 win over the Faroe Islands, Bitton registered 99 passes at a success rate of 90%, proving he’d suit Celtic’s current style of play.
On top of that, he had 116 touches, more than anybody else on the field of play.
Israel would concede two against Austria in their last game on Saturday but his country prevailed 5-2.
Bitton stood out again and this time it was his defensive attributes that stole the show. He won 100% of his duels, succeeding in three ground battles and two aerial battles.
Furthermore, he didn’t commit a single foul and came away with pass accuracy of 88%. On this evidence, the Israeli looked like a changed man. Long may it continue.