Experienced Celtic defender Christopher Jullien has spoken highly of Stephen Welsh, after the academy graduate made his debut at Hamilton.
Welsh was thrown into the back three as a right-sided centre-back at the Fountain of Youth stadium yesterday. He didn’t let anyone down either, and made a timely intervention to stop David Moyo from making it 2-0 in the first half.
He was effectively the most efficient of the three centre-backs. Both Jullien and Kristoffer Ajer had their problems against Marios Ogkmpoe.
And it was the former who came out and sang the praises of Welsh’s display. Speaking in comments published by the Daily Record, Jullien said the following:
“I told him I was really happy about his first game. I was a little bit impressed by him, he did a really good job in a tough game.
“The most important thing I said before the game was we had to speak a lot and I tried to do that and he did it back. He wasn’t shy on the pitch and I can’t wait to see him next time.”
Opportunities could easily open up for Welsh
Jullien is spot on. Welsh was extremely efficient in everything he did, and there will be a genuine excitement to see whether he can perform more consistently for us in the future.
Impressive debuts are one thing, but actually managing to go on a run of form is another. Fortunately for Welsh, more chances could easily arrive in the near future.
Jozo Simunovic and Nir Bitton aren’t reliable when it comes to staying injury-free. There’s more than likely to be further occasions when both men are out. That immediately opens the door to Welsh, who now surely becomes first reserve to Jullien and Ajer in that situation.
Whenever Lennon goes to a back three, even better for him. It gives him a further opportunity to impress as he would effectively only need two injuries to become a first choice. More chances seem certain to come for him in the near future.
And these words from Jullien should provide perfect encouragement. The Frenchman, after all, is an experienced centre-back himself with over 250 career appearances (Transfermarkt). He’ll know a competent defender when he sees one.
It would be great to see more of Welsh in the coming weeks, and if Celtic keep building on their lead over Rangers, the chances should be there.