A number of Celtic fans have been left ruing their failure to replace Mikael Lustig this summer.
The long-serving Swede has endured a very difficult start to the season, and his tally of below-par performances are quickly adding up, particularly in Europe. So Celtic’s inability to bring Cristiano Piccini to Glasgow now looks like a real missed opportunity.
But the 26-year-old joined Valencia instead for a £7 million deal from Sporting Lisbon. And Celtic fans were forced to watch on in frustration as the rampaging right-back impressed during Valencia’s goalless Champions League draw against Manchester United recently.
Piccini has endured a rather mixed start to life in La Liga but it seems that he has plenty of admirers. One of those is Roberto Mancini, who brought the former Real Betis flyer off the bench for his senior Italy debut during the 1-1 friendly clash against Ukraine on Wednesday.
2018 has been something of a breakthrough year for Piccini, having helped Sporting reach the Europa League quarter-finals, sealing his big move to Valencia and making his international bow.
Celtic, however, are stuck with Lustig.