Why Burnley should reignite their interest in Nir Bitton
Back in November 2019, a report from The Scottish Sun had claimed that Burnley were interested in signing Israeli international Nir Bitton from Celtic. It was claimed that Clarets boss Sean Dyche had been lining up a cut-price £1million bid for the 28-year-old in January due to his unresolved contract situation at Parkhead.
However, Bitton eventually poured cold water on those speculations by putting pen to paper on a new long-term deal with the Hoops until 2023. Burnley, meanwhile, snapped up Josh Brownhill from Bristol City in the winter market before signing another midfielder in the form of Dale Stephens from Brighton in the summer.
A youth exponent of FC Ashdod, Nir Bitton made his first-team breakthrough in the Israeli Premier League during the 2008-09 season. He went on to score 16 goals in 127 appearances for his boyhood club in all competitions before completing a move to Celtic in the summer of 2013.
Bitton established himself as a regular starter for the Hoops in the Scottish Premiership after a slow start to life in Glasgow. He featured in 20+ league games for Celtic in 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17 campaigns but has found himself restricted to a bit-part role over the past three seasons.
However, he remains a key squad player at Parkhead and is very much one of Neil Lennon’s trusted lieutenants when it comes to delivering the goods in big games. The 28-year-old has made a total of 219 appearances for Celtic in all competitions so far, registering 12 goals and 14 assists in the process. A full international for Israel since 2010, Bitton has also amassed 30 caps for his nation.
Bitton would hand a boost to Burnley’s dynamics
Dale Stephens and goalkeeper Will Norris were the only fresh faces to come through the door at Turf Moor before the deadline.
The club’s lacklustre performance in the transfer market has already come back to haunt them early in the season. Burnley currently sit rock-bottom in the PL standings with just a solitary point from their first 6 games so far, having already suffered 5 defeats.
There’s still a long way to go in the season but Sean Dyche once again faces an uphill task of steering the Clarets to safety with a stagnant squad.
The Lancashire outfit have scored just thrice while conceding as many as 12 goals in the PL so far, which clearly epitomises their struggles. Hence, it goes without saying that Burnley desperately need to bring in some new players when the market reopens in January.
To put things into perspective, the Clarets should make a renewed attempt to sign Nir Bitton from Celtic.
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With centre-backs Kevin Long and Jimmy Dunne as well as long-serving midfielder Jack Cork, all out of contract in 2021, Burnley should start lining up some alternatives in the market. High-profile signings at Turf Moor have been a scarcity, so going back in the market for a low-key player like Nir Bitton would be a shrewd piece of business for the club.
The 28-year-old still has several years remaining in his prime while his European experience makes him an excellent option for Burnley.