It has been a real blessing for Celtic that Jozo Simunovic’s proposed move to Torino fell through in the summer, and I for one am delighted that he remains a Celtic player.

Let’s hope that he is in Scotland for the long-term because at this moment in time he is part of what I consider to be Celtic’s strongest centre-back pairing when Brendan Rodgers plays a flat four, and he could very well continue in that role for many years to come.

Both he and Erik Sviatchenko have shown that they have a real understanding together, and the strengths of both players seem to really complement the other.

It seems remarkable now with hindsight, but there didn’t seem to be too many people that were terribly upset when Simunovic looked to be heading out of the club in the summer, but if Torino or anyone else were successful in prising him away in January there would almost certainly be a huge outcry from the support.

It took him a while to establish himself at Celtic because of a horrendous run of luck with injuries, but now that he is fully fit you can see the quality that he brings to the defence. He is quick, strong, and he can play a bit with the ball at his feet as well.

Mikael Lustig is more than capable of playing in there, as is the experienced Kolo Toure, but Simunovic is one of the two first-choice centre-back at the moment ahead of those guys and he fully deserves to be.

He maybe wasn’t at his best the other night against Partick Thistle, and that could have had a lot to do with the fact that it was Lustig, and not Sviatchenko that was beside him. That’s no harm to Lustig, who I think is a fine player and probably best at right-back, but the partnership between Simunovic and Sviatchenko seems to bring out the best in both players.

I think Simunovic himself will be pleased too that the move to Italy failed to materialise. He has had the invaluable Champions League experience this season, and he looks to really be enjoying his football at the moment. That always helps to get the best from a player, and I think we are finally seeing the best of Simunovic in a Celtic jersey.