'I am a £50m player' - Celtic 25-year-old jokes about his potential transfer value
By Aramide Oladipo
Celtic midfielder Nir Bitton has joked that he is now worth £50million and on his way on catching up with former Hoops star Virgil van Dijk.
The 25-year-old has made 15 appearances for Brendan Rodgers’ side this season and he has contributed with three assists in all competitions.
The Israel international has already equalled his assist tally from last season and he will be hopeful to get himself on the scoresheet in order to match his scoring record from the previous campaign.
Bitton has become an important member of the Celtic first-team squad this season, and he has played a crucial role in helping the team maintain their unbeaten run in domestic competitions.
Speaking to the Evening Times, the midfielder revealed that he is looking to replicate former Celtic colossus van Dijk in the current back-four.
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“I am a £50 million player now!,” he joked.
“Seriously, though, Virgil is a good friend of mine. He is top class. I don’t think there are many players who can do what Virgil does.
“To be honest, playing at centre back came from nowhere for me. I remember the game against Rosenborg away. I didn’t think about coming on at centre back. But the gaffer trusted me, gave me an opportunity and I am happy that I did my best.
“Since then I have tried to learn my positioning. In every game I speak with the guys around me.
“I have told Virgil I’m coming for him. Seriously, though, it is something that I really enjoy right now. As long as I play I am happy. As long as I am part of this team it is the best thing for me. I try to do my best.”
Dutchman van Dijk was sensational throughout his two-year spell at Celtic Park where he managed to lift back-to-back league titles and a League Cup.
With the Hoops facing a number of absentees in defence, Bitton could potentially be deployed at the back when Celtic welcome Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich to Glasgow next week.
The Hoops suffered a 3-0 defeat against the German outfit at the Allianz Arena in their last match in Europe.
In other Celtic news, James McClean delivered an emphatic verdict on the Hoops’ win at Aberdeen.