Celtic have announced multiple contract signings involving youth players today, including three-year deals for 11 emerging talents from the club’s academy sides.
The headline name on the list is Stephen Welsh, who was given his first-team debut by Neil Lennon last season away to Hamilton, impressing in a three-man defence alongside Christopher Jullien and Kristoffer Ajer.
The 20-year-old has committed the next three years of his career at the club as he looks to become a more regular part of the manager’s plans.
Forwards Adam Montgomery, Brody Paterson, Adam Brooks and defender Matthew Anderson have all also secured three-year contracts.
Elsewhere, a total of six other players have signed three-year deals, the first of their professional careers.
They are: Ben McPherson, Ben Davidson, goalkeeper Joe Morrison, Ts’oanelo Lets’osa, Mackenzie Carse and Dylan Corr.
Meanwhile, midfielders Joseph Murphy and Paul Kennedy have put pen to paper on two-year and one-year deals.
The news halts a trend over the last 12 months of talented youngsters leaving the club to pursue careers at sides in more illustrious leagues.
Defender Liam Morrison joined Bayern Munich rather than pursue potential first-team opportunities at Celtic while teenage talent Josh Adams is reportedly off to Manchester City (The Telegraph).
Forward Michael Sparkes also announced his exit from the club last week after being linked with a move to Crystal Palace in January.
The nature of an academy means that players will always be coming and going but today’s announcement shows that Celtic are tying down plenty of young talents that can hopefully follow in the footsteps of Callum McGregor, James Forrest and former star Kieran Tierney.
We need to have a clear and structured pathway to the first-team and everyone will be hoping some of the names handed contracts today become household names over the next few years.