Former Celtic striker Frank McAvennie has tipped Stephen Welsh to flourish in a new position moving forwards for Ange Postecoglou’s side.
The lowdown: Rising star
The 22-year-old Scotland youth international has amassed 47 senior outings for the Bhoys, scoring four times and providing one assist from the centre of defence.
Now, having been linked to Toulouse earlier in the summer and following the permanent signing of Cameron Carter-Vickers, one heavily invested pundit has suggested a change of position could be in order for Welsh…
The latest: ‘If we don’t sign anyone…’
He said: “I don’t think Welsh is going to get a game at centre-half when everyone is fit. He could play in midfield as a holding midfield player. That’s down to the manager. I think he’s comfortable with the ball at his feet so maybe the manager would want to try him in there.
“If we don’t sign anyone, on big European nights, you’ve got to have someone to be more aware defensively than attacking. That might work, it could be an option for Ange if he doesn’t get anyone. And it will get Welsh a game. He doesn’t let anyone down when he comes in but he’s not going to be number one.”
The verdict: Worth a try
Linked with a move for Chelsea outcast Ross Barkley and Barcelona prodigy Alex Collado previously, Postecoglou is evidently keen on adding at least one midfield option to the Parkhead ranks before the transfer deadline passes, but both of those options are more attack-minded.
Having previously operated as a right-back for club and country, Welsh clearly has the technical ability and energy to move out of his recognised central defensive role.
Left out of the squad for the thumping 5-0 win over Kilmarnock despite recovering from a knock, the youngster – who was hailed as ‘phenomenal’ and a ‘fan favourite’ by Celtic youth coach Martin Miller – had opened the scoring in the Scottish Premiership curtain raiser a week earlier against Aberdeen.
With Carter-Vickers, Carl Starfelt and loan ace Moritz Jenz likely to take up the majority of the playing time at the heart of the defence, a progression into a defensive midfield role over the course of the campaign could be a welcome transition for the £1.35million valued Welsh.
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