Alan Hutton admits it was a “shock” to see Celtic let Jozo Simunovic leave Parkhead on a free transfer this summer.
The former Rangers and Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, admits he thought the centre-back had been a solid performer for the Bhoys over the last couple of seasons.
The Hoops confirmed on Saturday that the 25-year-old defender, along with Jonny Hayes, would be leaving Parkhead on a free transfer at the end of his contract.
Best wishes to Jozo Simunovic and Jonny Hayes – thank you for all you've done for #CelticFC! 🙌🍀
— Celtic Football Club (from 🏡) (@CelticFC) May 30, 2020
The Croatian has been a regular among the Bhoys’ first-team squad during his five years in Glasgow, with 126 appearances under his belt.
Hutton insists he thought Simunovic was an important player for the squad and that he was surprised to see him leave.
Hutton told Football Insider: “I thought he’d been one of the main defenders throughout the years, he’s obviously been part of the treble-winning teams and he’s lifted a lot of trophies so it was a bit of a shock, I must admit.
“Whether he’ll go somewhere, somewhere bigger, I’m not sure if he’s got any interest, but I thought Celtic would tie him down. He seemed to be a key part over the past few years since he came in.
“It’s a shame but it’s football, it happens.”
Simunovic leaves Parkhead with five league titles, three Scottish Cups and three Scottish League Cups under his belt.
However, he struggled for game time this season, playing just 16 times across all competitions.