By Alex McLeish

4th Nov, 2020 | 11:00am

'Massive' - Pundit Exclusive: Celtic have perfect replacement after star heads to Germany

Nir Bitton is the perfect player to slot in at Celtic and ease the headache caused by the club’s defensive injury crisis.

That is according to ex-Scotland manager Alex McLeish, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the gap in the backline caused by the absences of Christopher Jullien and Kristoffer Ajer.

Ajer missed the Scottish Cup semi-final win over Aberdeen last weekend with an ankle injury and his regular centre-back partner Jullien is a long-term absentee with a back problem.

Manager Neil Lennon told The Herald last Tuesday that Jullien had headed to Germany for treatment and was some time away from even being able to train.

There is no prospect of him being fit to feature in tomorrow’s Europa League clash against Sparta Prague or Sunday’s Scottish Premiership clash against Motherwell ahead of the international break.

McLeish is adamant that Israel international Bitton is the perfect play to step in as a replacement.

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He told Football Insider: “You would say Bitton is a guy that’s been around and therefore he’s got the experience to handle things, an international player.

“He knows the massive club that Celtic is and he knows what’s required when you go on that pitch to play for Celtic or Rangers. He knows the expectations there are that they have to win every week and he has that kind of mentality.

“There’s not any doubt about the guy being able to handle it, he’s got that experience.”

Bitton started alongside Shane Duffy as Celtic secured a 2-0 Scottish Cup win over Aberdeen last Sunday to stay on course for the quadruple treble.

It was the long-serving 29-year-old’s eighth appearance of the season for the Hoops and his 218th in total.

In other news, Celtic have been told how much it will cost to sign Diego Laxalt permanently.