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Derek Whyte has told The Scottish Sun that he is surprised that Celtic have decided to release Jozo Simunovic.

The former Celtic defender believes that Simunovic did well for the Hoops, and has admitted that he is “really shocked” that he will not be at the club next season.

As reported by BBC Sport, the 25-year-old central defender is leaving Celtic this summer, with the Scottish Premiership giants deciding not to take the option of a further year in his contract.

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Whyte told The Scottish Sun: “That really surprised me. I thought he was decent as well. He’s only 25 and centre backs don’t usually get into their prime until they are 27 or 28.

“It depends on the player’s circumstances too though. Maybe he wants to move closer to home or go somewhere else in Europe. But I was really shocked at that.”

Stats

As stated on Celtic’s official website, Simunovic made a total of 127 appearances for the Hoops in his career, scoring five goals in the process.

According to WhoScored, the centre-back scored one goal in six Scottish Premiership matches and played 96 minutes in the Europa League for the Hoops this season.

Strange decision?

Simunovic has had injury problems during his time at Celtic, and the Hoops won the Scottish Premiership and did well in the Europa League this season without him doing much.

Perhaps Celtic manager Neil Lennon has already planned to sign a replacement for Simunovic or promote a defender from the youth team.

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