COMMENT By Will Butcher
Brendan Rodgers will have been delighted with his Celtic side as they earned a comfortable 4-1 victory over Hearts at Celtic Park on Saturday afternoon.
Here, Football Insider analyses three talking points from the Hoops’ opening Scottish Premiership encounter, including how the Hoops are in the position to sell a star man:
Bitton can resurrect Celtic career
Israel international Nir Bitton started alongside Jozo Simunovic at centre-back with Erik Sviatchenko and Dedryck Boyata sidelined through injury. The lofty midfielder was used in the heart of defence against Rosenborg on Wednesday when replacing Sviatchenko as a substitute, with his performance being described as “superb” by Rodgers when talking to Sky Sports Main Event channel prior to kick-off against Hearts. He mirrored that with a commanding display at Celtic Park on Saturday, keeping Kyle Lafferty under control, as well as providing an inch-perfect pass for Leigh Griffiths’ first goal. With Bitton way down the pecking order in midfield, reigniting his career at centre-back could see him become a first-team regular throughout 2017-18.
Rosenborg goal has boosted Forrest
The speed machine looked like a different player out wide against Hearts, attempting to do things that he would normally not dare to do. He cropped up all over the pitch, winning the ball back on the left wing at times and even coming off the right touchline to look for a goal himself in the middle of the park. His strike against Rosenborg looks to have given the Celtic academy product a new lease of life, and offering Rodgers another outlet up front, Forrest is showing that he has what it takes to be the secret weapon of 2017-18.
Sell Dembele, Griffiths is the man
Rodgers should seriously consider selling Moussa Dembele to the highest bidder as Leigh Griffiths shone in the final third with a brace for the 48-time Scottish champions. The fans love the former Hibernian and Wolves ace, and it showed as he thrived by showing quick feet to grab his first before heading home a second after good work from Callum McGregor. Sky Sports claim Celtic can rake in as much as £20million with Marseille interested in Dembele, and with Griffiths firing on all cylinders, Rodgers should look to cash in on the French wonderkid and look to bolster other areas of his side ahead of a Champions League play-off against Astana.
In other Celtic news, Rodgers is confident of securing a deal with this 25-year-old playmaker.