FORMER Celtic defender Marc Rieper believes his fellow-Dane Erik Sviatchenko will show his best form again – once he regains his confidence.
The ex-international centre-back, part of Wim Jansen’s side that stopped 10-in-a-row, reckons the Hoops star has suffered a crisis in his self-belief.
Sviatchenko is being tipped to quit Parkhead during this transfer window and hasn’t made a first team appearance since sustaining a knee ligament injury in the Champions League qualifier against FC Copenhagen in August.
Ironically, the Danish outfit have been linked with a £1.5million move for the defender while Southampton, looking for a replacement for £75million Virgil van Dijk, have also been credited with an interest.
Rieper said: “I follow Erik a lot when he plays for Denmark and for Celtic, too, of course.
“I think he’s a good player, but he needs consistency to excel.
“In the period when he played a lot he peformed really well.
“But when he started to go in and out he started to lose a little bit of confidence.
“It’s difficult to build that up again.”
Brendan Rodgers utilised midfielder Kristoffer Ajer alongside Dedryck Boyata in central defence during the last four games of 2017 after dropping Jozo Simunovic following the defeat against Hearts.
He has also played Israeli international Nir Bitton in the back four this season and has now paid £1million for 32-year-old RB Leipzig’s Marvin Compper.
It looks as though there is no way back for Sviatchenko at Celtic with the player admitting that he has been told by Brendan Rodgers to find a new club. Sviatchenko has also revealed that he would prefer a move to England rather than a move back to Denmark and he has interest from clubs in both countries.
The CQN Podcast: A Celtic State of Mind (EP28) with former Celtic director Tom Grant
Paul John Dykes and Kevin Graham are joined by Celtic’s ex-director, Tom Grant, who offers a fascinating insight into the running of the club in the 1980s and 1990s.
Tom Grant explains exactly why Celtic refused to complete the Mo Johnston transfer in 1989, and lifts the lid on audacious efforts by Billy McNeill to recruit Peter Beardsley and Steve Bruce.
Tom Grant also dissects his relationship with Fergus McCann, and the impact of the ‘Celts For Change’ movement in overturning the ‘family dynasty’ board in 1994.
Jim Craig made two of the three goals in the 1967 European Cup Final. Get Jim’s new Lisbon Lion Diary – Right Back to 67 from CQNBookstore.co.uk and you will receive a signed copy from the man himself plus a FREE copy of That Season in Paradise – Ten Months of Celtic Heaven signed by fellow Lisbon Lion Bertie Auld! Simply order Jim Craig – Right Back to 67 and the second book will be sent automatically.