Ange Postecoglou is excited about the potential of Celtic defender Stephen Welsh

By John McGinley

August 20, 2021

Ange Postecoglou is delighted with the progress of Celtic defender Stephen Welsh in the early stages of the season.

Welsh has come into the team to replace Nir Bitton alongside new signing Carl Starfelt.

Despite being far less experienced and, at times last season, criticised for his performances, it’s actually the young defender who is stepping up to show leadership at this point of the season.

His efforts have earned him a call up to the Scotland U21 side.

Postecoglou was asked about that today and the potential of Welsh progressing to become a full international with the Scotland team.

The Bhoys boss said [Celtic YouTube]: “What I can say about Welsh is that every game he is improving. He wants to learn, he wants to get better. There’s massive upside in him.

“We’re challenging him as a young player to take some real responsibility. Because of the way we play and the nature of the games we’re playing, there’s some highly pressurised situations we’re putting him in. So far, he hasn’t let us down.

“That’s his test, every time he gets pushed up a level with us or the national team, he has to keep pushing to that next layer to fulfil his potential.

“I’m delighted for him. It’s a well-deserved call up and I’m thrilled with how he’s going at the moment.”

Welsh has a tough job on his hands to maintain his current level of performance. If he can do it on a consistent basis this season, he could well have a long-term future at Celtic.

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The nature of his inexperience means there may be bumps on the road. But Postecoglou is right, so far this season he hasn’t let us down and in fact is doing the club proud.

If he can also perform well within the national set-up it won’t be long before his name is touted for Steve Clarke’s senior squad.

One thing is certain, his performances absolutely merit his selection for Celtic right now.

In other news, Ange delivers the latest on Celtic duo Karamoko Dembele and Mikey Johnston.