Nir Bitton has outshone Shane Duffy at the heart of the Celtic defence in recent weeks, according to Alan Hutton.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Rangers and Scotland full-back has suggested the Republic of Ireland international is starting to realise the immense pressure of being a Celtic player.
The 28-year-old was dropped for the first time by Neil Lennon against Motherwell on Sunday, as Bitton, a natural central midfielder, and Kristoffer Ajer lined up at the heart of the defence.
Hutton has suggested Duffy needs to get “back to basics” and that he now has one more player to overcome if he is to get back in the side.
Asked if Bitton was now genuine competition for the Republic of Ireland international, Hutton told Football Insider: “Yeah, I think that’s it, competition for places – just like it is at Rangers, it’s the same at Celtic.
“They’re a big team, they’re the Champions, and if there’s a problem or somebody’s not playing to the best of their ability there’s always somebody willing to come in and take your place and that’s what’s happened.
“Obviously, Shane Duffy’s come in with a big reputation and he started in the league but it’s not quite worked out as yet. Obviously, we know there’s a fantastic player in there, but it’s just about getting back to basics as a defender – defending well, winning your headers and tackles and building from there.
“That’s something that he’s going to have to go through himself. I think he’s come up here and realised what the pressure’s like, at Celtic you’ve got to win every game, it is what it is.
“You can’t lose three home games in a row, that’s not how it works up in Scotland so he’s found that out, he’s going to have to deal with that.”
In other Celtic news, Gabriel Agbonlahor cannot believe the Neil Lennon claim made by his talkSPORT colleague.