Celtic's Carl Starfelt has every right to feel absolutely baffled by PFA TOTY omission

By David Walton

April 26, 2022

Celtic centre-back Carl Starfelt has every right to feel absolutely baffled by his PFA Scotland Team of the Year omission.

The best XI was announced today by PFA, and, incredibly, John Souttar was included instead of the in-form Starfelt.

There were places for the likes of Cameron Carter-Vickers, Josip Juranovic, Callum McGregor, Tom Rogic, Jota, and Kyogo Furuhashi respectively. However, Starfelt has every right to feel he should be on that list.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

He’s been a key cog as part of the best backline in Scottish football. Celtic have only conceded 19 league goals in 34 matches. How on earth has he been overlooked in favour of the Hearts man?

Souttar hasn’t played a league game for the Jambos since early March. In the matches he’d featured in beforehand in the Premiership, Hearts had only kept clean sheets in 9 of them. Not that it’s a bad return, but look at Starfelt, who’s been a part of 18 clean sheets in total [Transfermarkt].

Let’s not pretend he’s played second fiddle to Carter-Vickers either. Whenever Starfelt makes a recovery challenge or covers for his team-mates, it consistently goes overlooked. People don’t want to give him the praise he deserves, with pundits constantly on his back this season.

Ange targeting early summer deals as the Celtic support prepares to party

Ange targeting early summer deals as the Celtic support prepares to party
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Carl Starfelt unfairly overlooked despite faultless 2022

Starfelt has been absolutely sensational in 2022. He’s been the best performing centre-back outside of team-mate Carter-Vickers. Yet for some reason he’s been overlooked for a defender who has been in and out of the Hearts team at times this season.

You feel as though Starfelt’s unfair reputation has gone against him here. That he’s been omitted due to the criticism he had at the start of the campaign.

But if we’re talking about the genuinely best centre-backs in Scottish football, who truly out-performs him? It’s not Souttar. It certainly isn’t the likes of Connor Goldson, Leon Balogun, or Ryan Porteous either.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

You just wonder what it will take for the Sweden international to be given the respect he deserves. What challenges does he need to overcome? Who does he really need to pocket before he’s finally getting some pats on the back? Evidently Kevin Nisbet, Alfredo Morelos, and Kemar Roofe isn’t enough.

Starfelt didn’t have the best of starts. But if truth be told, he had brushed off his poor form by the time September came around. Since then, he and CCV have been absolutely solid together. Yet for some reason, the magnifying glass has been out for Carl whenever he makes a mistake.

He has a right to feel as though he should’ve been included along with CCV. There’s nobody else in Scottish football that’s been reaching his levels.

In other news, How Celtic could rattle rivals’ 2022/23 confidence in just 5 days