Celtic has once again rejected moves for our young centre back Stephen Welsh. This is, I think, the third window where this has happened and I think it represents a huge vote of confidence in this player by the coaching staff at Celtic Park.
The very fact that we’re constantly beating off interest for him tells you that he’s rated, and that he’s had offers from Italy tells you how highly. Welsh is one of those players who I think is much maligned and misunderstood by a section of our support. The section which seems to turn on a lot of our players instead of letting them settle down.
Welsh was the one bright spark in the Neil Lennon final campaign.
When you think of the money we squandered on Shane Duffy, this kid came in and strolled through the detritus of that season and was one the one positive who came out of it.
He can consider himself very unlucky that Ange’s high tempo game called for a different kind of defender, and if he’s had some difficulty adjusting to it, well that’s just a consequence of how tough it is to play in this system, as Ange pointed out the other day.
So with the clock ticking down it looks as if Welsh will stay; this gives us four good quality centre backs at the club and ameliorates the need for any backup option to be signed.
This was doubtless an area Ange would have been thinking about as the window wound down.
Welsh is a good young talent, and I expect to see him get games before the season ends.
He wants to play first team football, and normally that’d be all the reason in the world to give him a loan move, but that Celtic is resisting it tells you how important they consider him to be … and I think Stephen Welsh can take a lot of heart from that.