Celtic defender Erik Sviatchenko revealed he left the club due to a lack of playing time this season, reports the Daily Record.

The 26-year-old left to join former side FC Midtjylland on a season-long loan last summer, a move that came as a surprise given he was a first-team regular the previous season.

Initially signed from the Danish outfit in 2016, Sviatchenko made 14 Scottish Premiership appearances in his debut season and 28 in his first full campaign at Parkhead. However, the centre-back managed just two appearances in 2017/18 before returning to Denmark.

He said.

“I could have been on the bench at Celtic, but I didn’t want to do that, I wanted to play. That’s why Midtjylland was the best choice. I have never received or asked for an explanation about what happened to me at Celtic.”

“I can only say that I played the first year under Brendan Rodgers, where we won virtually everything. But after an injury and a mistake that cost a goal, he dropped me. It surprised me.

 “It has been hard because at one point or another – no matter how much self-confidence you have – you begin to doubt yourself. So, I would call my time here a positive pit stop. I’m here to be reborn as a football player.”

Sviatchenko has made seven Superligaen appearances for Midtjylland this season and is due to return to parent club Celtic in the coming months. In his absence, Rodgers has relied on Dedryck Boyata, Jozo Simunovic and Kristoffer Ajer in the Celtic defence this season.

It’s paid off as the Bhoys have conceded just 20 goals in 31 Scottish Premiership games and find themselves 12 points clear of second-placed Rangers.