Celtic have secured the loan signing of defender Moritz Bauer from Stoke for the 2019/20 season.
The Daily Record reported that the 27-year-old right-back has joined the Hoops on a season-long loan deal with an option to buy at the end of the 2019/20 campaign.
According to the Daily Record, Celtic manager Neil Lennon had been looking to bolster his full-back options in this transfer window after the departures of Kieran Tierney and Dedryck Boyata.
The Daily Mail added that Bauer will not be available for selection in tonight’s Europa League play-off tie against AIK but could make his debut in Sunday’s Glasgow derby against Rangers.
Bauer has been playing with Stoke since January 2018, making 26 appearances for the club in that time. Fourteen of those came under Paul Lambert but he fell out of favour during Gary Rowett’s time in charge, with the manager accusing him of undermining team spirit with a contentious social media post 90 minutes before a match, as reported by the Stoke Sentinel.
The Austria international played only 12 times for the Potters last season in all competitions and had not featured at all under Nathan Jones in the early weeks of the current campaign. [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]
He may not have had much gametime at the bet365 Stadium, but Bauer still showed during his time in the Potteries that he can regularly provide inviting deliveries into the opposition penalty area, with an average of 1.3 crosses and 1.1 key passes per game in the Championship last season.
In terms of his defensive work, Bauer won 1.4 aerial duels and one tackle per game last season, along with averaging 0.5 interceptions per game. [via WhoScored.com]
In last season’s Europa League, Celtic averaged 83.4% passing accuracy throughout the team, with seven defenders bettering Bauer’s aerial duels per game average. [via WhoScored.com]
Kristoffer Ajer, who has filled in at right-back for the Hoops this season, has won an average of four tackles and made two interceptions per game, considerably higher figures than the Austria defender.
Celtic have been very light in the right-back area recently, with Lennon moving Ajer across to the position during Hatem Abd Elhamed’s injury spell.
The signing of Bauer at least adds much-needed manpower in that position, but given his recent inactivity, comparatively uninspiring statistics and social media indiscretion, this seems to be a case of Celtic adding to their right-back options just to bolster their numbers rather than add prime quality.
Celtic fans, what do you make of Bauer’s arrival at the club? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below!
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