Nir Bitton has played an important, if unexpected, role for Celtic this season.
The Israeli midfielder looked to be on his way out of Parkhead after struggling to impress Brendan Rodgers last time round, but an injury crisis at the start of the current campaign handed him a lifeline in an unfamiliar centre-back role.
Bitton suddenly found himself a regular in the back four with the likes of Dedryck Boyata, Jozo Simunovic and Erik Sviatchenko sidelined with injury. The results were mixed but the 26-year-old’s versatility meant he stuck around for at least another year.
But with Bitton now ruled out for the rest of the campaign as he needs surgery on his knee, as reported by the Daily Record, is there a chance his Celtic career has just been ended in the most brutal fashion?
Bitton was, after all, a quick fix solution at centre-back rather than a long-term option. In the January transfer window, Celtic reinforced their back line by signing the experienced Marvin Compper and the highly-rated Jack Hendry, and the Hoops are expected to add another defender in the summer.
Bitton, then, may no longer be needed to fill in at the back. And he is well down the pecking order in central midfield, too, and that is while both Ryan Christie and Scott Allan are impressing out on loan.
Do not forget that Celtic can also call upon talented youngsters like Kundai Benyu, Leo Mazis and Eboue Kouassi.
The future does not look great for Bitton at Celtic then – if he has a future at all.