Celtic youngster Stephen Welsh is taking inspiration from Liverpool star

By John McGinley

February 7, 2021

Celtic youngster Stephen Welsh is looking to former Bhoy and current Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk for defensive inspiration.

Welsh continued his development at Celtic with a good performance at home to Motherwell on Saturday.

The 21-year-old has been a calm and composed presence in the heart of the Hoops defence of late. Certainly in comparison to expensive loanee Shane Duffy anyway.

Welsh was awarded man of the match for his display against the Steelmen and afterwards was on media duties.

Asked by reporters who his biggest inspiration was growing up, one name came to mind.

Welsh told The Herald: “Van Dijk was the main one. When he was at Celtic I was a season ticket holder so I watched him every week.

“You could tell from the early stages how good he was going to be. He was unbelievable at Parkhead. He basically strolled every game. You could see the world-class player coming out.

“He is 100 per cent the best defender in the world. I don’t think there is any question about that. He has been unbelievable in the last couple of seasons at Liverpool. It has been amazing to watch him at Celtic as a kid and see the player he has turned out to be.”

Welsh is obviously nowhere near the level that van Dijk is operating at, or operated at with Celtic, but he couldn’t really be picking a better on the pitch role model.

Having taken his initial opportunities in the Celtic team well, the big challenge for the youngster is now finding consistency.

Former Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk / (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

He’s still in his honeymoon period with the Celtic support, as he should be, and no doubt tougher judgments are on the horizon.

For now, we can be delighted with his progress and he’s certainly earned his spot in the starting eleven.

I’m excited to see what comes next.

In other news, today’s Rangers result shows a bold Celtic change could have saved our season.