Celtic icon Frank McAvennie has dropped a scathing verdict on Celtic defender Stephen Welsh after he commented on a potential Kristoffer Ajer departure [Football Insider].
The Lowdown: Celtic face mass change ahead of 2021/22; Ajer could potentially depart
Following a calamitous 2020/21 campaign at Parkhead, the Celts face the prospect of a mass rebuild as they attempt to reclaim the Scottish Premiership title in 2021/22.
In particular, the Norwegian has been at the forefront of attention in recent weeks after revealing his desire to leave Celtic [BT Sport]. In light of this revelation, Welsh stated that Celtic will “find a way” to replace his qualities should he depart amid interest from Newcastle United and Bayer Leverkusen [Daily Mail].
Was McAvennie right to criticise Welsh over his comments?
The Latest: McAvennie drops brutal Stephen Welsh verdict
This has prompted an explosive reaction from McAvennie, who was quick to condemn the youngster’s comments in an interview with Football Insider.
Speaking to the publication, the former West Ham striker stated:
“Some of those players, honestly, just don’t say anything. The boy Welsh saying ‘I prefer playing with Ajer’.
“You’re going to get yourself in trouble for saying things like that. Ajer wants to leave and he will.
“He’s in trouble. Just let him go and look after yourself. He’s only been in the team for five minutes.
“He has a lot more problems than Ajer. He needs to focus on just keeping his place under Postecoglou.” [Football Insider].
The Verdict: Welsh criticism may be viewed as harsh by some members of the Celtic support
Though McAvennie is right in pointing out that the central defender should focus on working his way into new manager Ange Postecoglou’s plans, Welsh will no doubt have to adjust should his positional counterpart leave Glasgow for pastures new, so it’s understandable to see why he’d like Ajer to stay.
Establishing himself in the first-team picture in 2020/21, the 21-year-old made 21 appearances for the Hoops; predominantly as part of a partnership with the Norway international [Transfermarkt].
Moving into 2021/22, the Coatbridge-born stopper will be hoping to build on his solid breakthrough campaign for the Celts.
In other news, Celtic legend Frank McAvennie comments on Peter Lawwell’s transfer involvement.