Stoke City defender Moritz Bauer has claimed that his loan spell at Celtic this season has been unsatisfactory.
The Austrian was signed in the summer to compete at right-back after being frozen out at the Championship club. However, it’s fair to say that things have been disappointing in that regard after only playing 12 of a possible 33 games this season (Transfermarkt).
Instead, Neil Lennon has often selected the likes of Hatem Abd Elhamed and Jeremie Frimpong ahead of him. Frimpong’s emergence has been a particular blow for Bauer, who arrived in the summer originally as the second-choice right-back.
And speaking in comments published by the Scottish Sun, Bauer clearly isn’t satisfied by how his season has gone individually so far.
“My initial aim was to play around 50 competitive games, but it will be significantly less because the club is pushing a young talent in my full-back position.
“It has not been a bad season for me, but also not satisfactory either. It is clear to me that I am not holding the best hand to get into the Austria squad for the Euro 2020 Finals and that time is not on my side.
“The home games at Celtic Park are special. I would compare the atmosphere to Anfield, only it is even bigger here with 60,000 fans.”
Bauer can feel slightly hard done by
Bauer’s situation at Celtic has been extremely unfortunate.
When he signed, it looked like he would be the man to come in when Elhamed was injured or needing a rest. However, nobody could’ve foreseen the incredible rise of Frimpong.
The Dutch youngster has come in and performed superbly well against the likes of Hibernian, Aberdeen, and Rangers respectively. He’s been thrown into Scottish football’s toughest environments and shined.
Frimpong has kept talents such as Niall McGinn, Daryl Horgan, and Ryan Kent tamed for the most part. There’s not much Bauer can do about Frimpong or Elhamed’s displays.
As well as that, Neil Lennon has recently switched formation to 3-5-2 in recent weeks. That leaves Bauer also up against James Forrest for the wing-back position. He has, to an extent, been unfortunate.
However, there is a flip side. Had Bauer shown enough in the 12 outings he’s had so far, he would be playing week-in, week-out. Despite everything that’s currently going against him, Lennon is still finding opportunities for Bauer to impress. The problem for the Austrian is that he’s not doing anything to make himself stand out.
Bauer did well against Clyde in his last match, but it would be a brave soul who bets on that being a springboard for more regular game-time. It’s unfortunate, but it’s just the way it is.