Celtic’s Nir Biton settling into life in Scotland

CELTIC midfielder Nir Biton is feeling comfortable at Parkhead after experiencing an initial culture shock when he moved to Scottish football.

Nir Biton holds off Jamie Walker of Hearts. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Nir Biton holds off Jamie Walker of Hearts. Picture: Ian Georgeson

The 22-year-old Israeli has only made three Scottish Premiership starts since signing from Ashdod in August and his Champions League debut lasted only 11 minutes before he was sent off after coming on during Celtic’s 2-1 win over Ajax.

But Biton feels the club’s recent mini-winter break in Turkey, where they played Trabzonspor and Galatasaray, has helped him bed into the squad.

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“The trip to Turkey has helped me to communicate more with the players and to settle into the team, so it was very important for me,” Biton told the Celtic View.

“In the previous month I didn’t get a lot of time on the pitch, and I needed to try and prove myself as I am still a new boy at the club so hopefully I gave the coaches a reason to play me.

“When I came here in the beginning the football in Scotland was totally different to what I was used to back home.

“In European football you have much more time and space than what you imagine, while in Scotland you don’t have space to get on the ball, and that’s very different.

“Now I feel more comfortable on and off the pitch.”

Biton attempted to score from his own half against Galatasaray and promised to do so again.

“When I got the ball I looked up and saw the goalkeeper outside his goal so I tried to shoot the ball over the keeper, and with a bit more luck I might have got a goal,” he said.

“I tried it before with the national team at under-21s and also at Ashdod. I haven’t scored like this yet but I promise one time I will score. I will try it again - but not all the time.”