Michael Stewart questions who signed Carl Starfelt at Celtic

By John McGinley

August 28, 2021

Michael Stewart has raised concerns that Carl Starfelt isn’t the answer defensively for Celtic ahead of tomorrow’s derby against Rangers.

Starfelt made a notable defensive error away to AZ Alkmaar on Thursday night, which Stewart was the co-commentator for.

The Swedish defender miscued his clearance of a cross and the ball pinged off his standing leg past Joe Hart for the own goal.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

It’s not the only nervous moment we’ve seen from Starfelt at the start of his Celtic career either. It’s fair to say that some supporters have similar concerns to Stewart.

The pundit has now questioned whether or not he is even an Ange Postecoglou signing.

Writing in his Scottish Sun column he said: “The Swede’s bizarre own goal against AZ Alkmaar on Thursday night was just the latest example. He’s nervous, he doesn’t look comfortable on the ball, he doesn’t look athletic or quick. To be totally fair to him, I thought his performance in the second half on Thursday did improve. But he has made a few big mistakes in a very short space of time at Celtic.

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“Is he a Postecoglou signing? I find it hard to imagine that’s the case. So who involved in recruitment inside Parkhead has landed a player like Starfelt? It’s not that he’s bad. But with a budget of £3m-£5m, I do think you could find better out there. And that’s why, as much as Celtic have improved, their recruitment is a worry ahead of the deadline.”

There’s still time for Carl Starfelt to come good at Celtic

I’m not going to try and gloss over some of the football we’ve seen from Starfelt so far this season. A lot of it has hardly been encouraging. I don’t think this analysis from Stewart is much of a surprise, even if it may seem harsh to some fair-minded Celtic fans.

But what I will say is that there’s still plenty of time for this signing to come good. It looks like he has the faith of Ange Postecoglou regardless of what’s been said about him. So in that sense, it doesn’t really matter who first identified him as a signing target. Ange is on board.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

What matters is how he bounces back from these early setbacks. We can’t completely write him off already. That’s absurd.

I also don’t think the fact he did well in the second half against AZ Alkmaar should be underrated. He could have easily collapsed after that horrendous own goal. But he didn’t. We should take comfort from that.

Hopefully he does the business tomorrow at Ibrox. It could be a match that is the making of him.

In other news, “Celtic have their auction”; Journalist reports yet another official bid for Odsonne Edouard.

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