COMMENT By Richard Parks
The time is up for Mikael Lustig.
The Daily Record claim that Celtic are ready to offload the long-serving Swede this summer with a year remaining on his contract.
Of the current Hoops squad, only Scott Brown can count more trophies in his personal cabinet following the club’s total domination of the Scottish game.
Lustig, who joined from Rosenborg six years ago, deserves great admiration for his achievements and staying power. At his best, he has been a tough, solid and committed defender who has also scored some valuable goals.
But his performances this season have been way off the high standards of his peak. European competition has particularly highlighted the growing deficiencies in the Swede’s standards and it looks like he is living on borrowed time.
He has remained a mainstay of the starting XI – only Kieran Tierney, Scott Brown and James Forrest have made more starts in all competitions this season – but that is perhaps more a reflection the iffy standards of the other members of the backline than any great shakes from the Swede.
The 63-times Sweden international, who is a cult hero with the fanbase, has made 40 appearances this season and 225 in total since his 2012 arrival at Parkhead.
Lustig has been a mighty fine Celtic player but the clock is ticking and he should be thanked for his services and handed the graceful exit he deserves in the summer window.