Derby County Opinion: Why Derby should target Nir Bitton in the summer?
Celtic midfielder Nir Bitton has endured a tough 9-11 months at the Parkhead due to a knee injury.
Nir Bitton, 27, suffered a knee injury last February which required surgery, sideling him until late January 2019. However, the 27-year-old finally looks to have put his injury worries behind him and is fighting for his place in Brendan Rodgers’ first team.
The Israeli midfielder has managed just four substitute appearances so far this season with Rodgers reticent to give Bitton a start in the side, perhaps due to his injury problems. He’s played cameo roles against Airdrieonians, Hamilton, St Johnstone, and Hibernian.
But given the array of options Rodgers has in midfield, Bitton stands very little chance to get a sneak in the first team. After being out of action for 11 months, the 27-year-old midfielder has somewhat lost his way and needs to slowly get back to his best.
Regular first-team opportunities at this crucial juncture of the campaign look unlikely for the Israeli international, given the fact that Scott Brown and Callum McGregor have built a formidable partnership in central midfield.
Bitton is 27 and needs to play regularly to get back his mojo, something Rodgers looks hesitant to provide at the moment for whatever reasons.
Hence, it’s better if Bitton ends his six-year stay with Celtic in the summer and moves forward for a fresh challenge to revive his career. Given the situation Bitton is in, Derby County must sign him ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.
Frank Lampard’s inexperience has been exposed by some of the Championship’s shrewder teams, leading to some really poor results this year. However, Lampard remains the best man for the job after doing an admirable job in his debut managerial job at Parkhead.
No matter what happens at the end of the 2019/19 campaign, Derby should fully back their manager in the summer transfer window. And certainly, Lampard should go for Nir Bitton to add more quality to his squad.
Bitton is a reliable midfielder, whose ball-retention and passing skills are fantastic. He can hold onto the ball even in tightest of areas, play killer pass in the final third and come up with crucial goals as well.
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Bitton needs regular playing time to get back on track and Lampard certainly can afford to give him. With Tom Huddlestone ageing, Bitton could be a fantastic like-for-like replacement.