Ex-Premier League boss John Gregory compares in-demand Celtic star Nir Bitton to Gareth Barry

John Gregory believes Nir Bitton can have a career like Gareth Barry.

Former Aston Villa boss John Gregory has told the Daily Mail that he thinks Celtic ace Nir Bitton is similar to Everton's midfield star Gareth Barry.

Bitton, 24, has become a fan favourite at Celtic after a slow start to life in Scotland, with the Israeli international initially struggling to adjust after his move from FC Ashdod.

Now though, Bitton is a mainstay of Ronny Deila's side, and he has plenty of attributes that make him a top player; at 6ft 5in, Bitton has the height and strength to protect the back four, whilst he's also calm in possession and has a superb passing range.

Unsurprisingly, that ability has now triggered interest in his services, with the player's agent Dudu Dahan suggesting that in-demand Bitton will move to the Premier League at the end of the season, as quoted here by the Daily Record.

Celtic won't want to lose Bitton, especially as he recently signed a new contract, but his Premier League prospects have been talked up by one of his former managers.

Ex-Aston Villa and Derby County boss John Gregory managed Bitton at FC Ashdod, and told the Daily Mail that he believes Bitton has what it takes to be a success in the Premier League.

He even compared Bitton to Everton star Gareth Barry, who has racked up over 700 Premier League appearances during spell with Aston Villa, Manchester City and Everton.

"It’s no surprise Nir Bitton is attracting the attention of English Premier League sides," said Gregory. "He reminds me of a young Gareth Barry, who I had for a long time at Villa Park from a very young age. "In personality and character, Nir and Gareth are so similar, but they both have great ability too."

"Gareth Barry is 34 now, but he’s so professional he is still going strong in a very good Everton team. In my opinion, there’s no reason Nir Bitton can’t go on to have as good a career as Gareth," he added.

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