Brendan Rodgers has not made many mistakes since being appointed Celtic manager in the summer of 2016.
But he could be forgiven for wondering whether he made the wrong call in farming Erik Sviatchenko out to FC Midtjylland on loan during the January transfer window. The Celtic fans certainly believe he did.
The Danish centre-back returned home during the mid-season window and, a month later, Celtic are enduring something of a defensive crisis.
Ahead of Thursday’s Europa League last 32 clash with Zenit St Petersburg, Nir Bitton, Marvin Compper and Dedryck Boyata are injured while Jozo Simunovic, arguably at fault for both goals in the weekend’s 3-2 Scottish Cup win against Partick Thistle, is enduring a dreadful run of form.
Did we mention that no side scored more goals than Zenit in the Europa League group stages?
And while Sviatchenko barely featured under Brendan Rodgers in the first half of the season after tumbling down the pecking order, the decision to let him leave could come back to haunt the Celtic boss as his makeshift back line prepare to take on Zenit’s array of impressive attackers.
Sviatchenko lacks pace and is not short of an error or two. But Celtic need back-up and the fans would love to call on him right now.
Club needs Erik Sviatchenko back https://t.co/wPSNu2ZkQD
— Jack (@jackmcneilly) February 15, 2018
Absolutely shocking at the back!! Should have kept sviatchenko— sean mccluskey (@seanofthedead79) February 10, 2018
I’d much rather have Sviatchenko playing at the back than any of this lot at the moment, he might lack pace but he’s not a soft touch. Can’t believe we’ve sent him out on loan without any replacement eligible for Europa #celtic— Stuart Gillan (@StuartGillan2) February 10, 2018
See when you consider what Sviatchenko lost his place for and never seen the team again you do wonder what the script is with Simunovic is. Erik barely even drew a match and racked up clean sheets.— Gerry McGinty (@gerrymcginty88) February 10, 2018
Bring back Erik Sviatchenko— Ryan Ferguson (@Rydoo91) February 10, 2018
Why Brendan doesn’t fancy sviatchenko I will never know, our best CB by a mile— Michael Wareing (@SheepyTrimm) February 10, 2018
Sviatchenko should never have been allowed to leave.— Steven M (@Steven_M17) February 10, 2018