If Celtic Sells Stephen Welsh We’re Going To Have A Big Decision To Make.

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The clock is ticking down on certain people’s time at the club. We all know that it is. We all know that before long some folk who are at Parkhead at the moment will not be. We all know that some people are going to be sold because they want to be and others are going to be sold whether they want to be or not. There are a lot of balls up in the air.

The latest rumours suggest that there’s interest in Stephen Welsh. He’s either part of Brendan Rodgers’ plans or he isn’t. If he isn’t he’s wasted sitting on our bench, and if the offer is right then it might be time to move him on.

Getting £3 million for a player who won’t feature … Ibrox can only dream about that.

But every decision we make carries risks. Our signing the Australian lad is probably good transfer business, but as another player who’ll be eligible for, and playing in, the Asian Cup it highlights the problems I’ve already raised in relation to that.

We could leave ourselves really short of personnel for a month, and that’s something that has to be focussing minds inside the club. But there’s another issue too, of course, and one of the mainstream titles flagged it today. We need to think about Europe.

A European squad is 25 players. Eight of them have to be home-grown, with four produced by the club. That leaves only 17 spots for others.

Taking Welsh out of the club removes an experienced player from the ranks of the eight, and more critically, one of the four club produced players of whom there really are only five who’ve got that experience; Forrest, McGregor, Ralston, Welsh and Mikey Johnston. Of the other four we have Greg Taylor, Scott Bain, David Turnbull and James McCarthy. Adam Montgomery is out on loan; is he remotely ready for that sort of promotion?

Looking at those players, ask yourself how many of them will even be in the squad every week? Is David Turnbull a guy with a future at Celtic at this point? McCarthy is going, Bain isn’t a number one in his life, no offence to him … there’s a good chance we’ll be bringing in a keeper and if we’re keeping our boy Hart then who is likely to go?

This presents us with a real dilemma both about Europe and about the Asian Cup. It’s not just the players we bring in, it’s the ones we let go too. And there’s not an easy solution to either of these problems, and in particular the eight home grown players rule … there has never been a time when there wasn’t at least one player developed in Scotland who looked like the kind of player who would enhance our squad in the medium term.

That’s a real issue and it’s one we can’t do anything about. The only other solution is to produce our own answer to this … and that has to be something we’re thinking about.

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  • Benjamin says:

    One thing I’d like to see more of is one or two B team and academy players making the bench every game. If the outcome of the game is no longer in doubt – say a 3-0 or 4-1 scoreline – put one or two of those kids in the game to get them minutes. Some will thrive and some will not; but every one of them will be better for the experience. They’ll make mistakes, but importantly they’ll learn from those mistakes and become better players.

  • Martin says:

    I know how the remainder of this response will look.

    Welsh won’t be part of Celtic’s defence. His career needs him to move. This is good for all parties. His place in euro squad can be filled by Vata or Murray. Unfortunately until we sort the youth out we’re probably going to be in a cycle like this (though I rate Vata). We replace a squad place or two every year. They don’t break through, but their potential leads to a sale.

  • John says:

    We could sign 1 or 2 Scottish players if we could find any better than what we have, there must be at least 1 or 2 going about.

  • Johnno says:

    Was just one of the many tough decisions that Rodgers is going to have to face up to.
    John Kennedy will offer plenty of advice upon who potentially should stay between Welsh and lawal, with who’s the better prospect in the future?
    Still think lawal might just get the vote, mainly because I think he may be better suited for a 3CB option moreso than Welsh imo.
    Don’t think either are suited in a back 4 at present.
    Either way both would only be making up numbers in next seasons CL squad and believe lawal actually qualifies as a celtic trained player this season, if my information is correct.
    Dane Murray should hopefully get a loan season for himself next season in order to potentially becoming legible for the following seasons CL squad.
    Been very hard for Welsh to develop properly with such limited game time available for himself, and hoping as a club it’s been addressed in a far better way than seasons past, and thankfully now the signs are good for the existing problem to be addressed

  • John S says:

    Stephen Welsh has a future at Celtic. The mid-Italian sides have got wind of this market, as with Aaron Hickey, give him a season or two and he’s worth four times the £3M quoted.

    • Stesano says:

      Exactly this was spoke about 4 years ago, about time Bayern eas taking our youngster. Italians take several also knowing fine well UK clubs need a fair quota of home players in future, and with English premier being cash rich they try sell them there. As I said this was first mounted years ago and looks like it was a correct theory

    • Jimmy says:

      Sorry John but dont see what you see in him. He will get found out in Europe for sure. If we get 3 million we are doing great.
      He didn’t figure when CCV was out for a reason, Ange clearly didnt trust him. Sad as it is, he is down the list of centre backs available

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