The news stories this morning that Stephen Welsh is being courted by some pretty decent European teams should give a lot of people pause for a moment, and I include some of the worst of our own tabloid hacks here. Indeed, some of them should be deeply embarrassed about the way they’ve written about this player.
It shows again how little many of them know about the sport they cover.
Welsh cannot get into the Celtic team at the moment, and for some in the press (and I want to single out Keevins in particular) that means he’s just not that good. Rather than just accept that we have a very strong squad here, and that Welsh is part of that, these people would rather take pot-shots at a talented young Scottish born footballer.
He would not get stick like this if he played across the city; indeed, he’d be a first team regular over there, in the team more often than not. When their manager talks, over there, about going for Scottish talent in the coming window he means Ryan Porteous; some will try to push the debate over whether he should be a Celtic target instead.
But for me, these stories today should finally consign all talk about Porteous to the bin where it belongs.
Let’s be blunt; Porto and the other clubs being linked with moves for our big centre back aren’t sniffing around the Hibs man. What do they know that so many people in our media don’t seem to be aware of?
That Welsh is a better player; no more, no less.
As such, and because he’s important for European registration purposes, we should keep hold of Welsh if we can. Yes, he’s at that age where he will definitely want to go out and play first team football, and if we get a chance to loan him we should give that consideration … but letting him leave entirely should be off the books for now.
Welsh has something to offer us. If he didn’t, then none of these clubs would be looking at him. This is not the first offer for this player that we have had. The manger turned down the others.
I fully expect that he will treat this one the same way.