Our View: Celtic recall of right-back Stephen Welsh makes sense

By John Reid

January 25, 2020

One aspect of Celtic transfer business which might have gone unnoticed on Friday was the club’s decision to recall Stephen Welsh from his loan deal with Greenock Morton.

On the face of it this might look to be a surprise. After all, Welsh has played 15 times for the Championship side this season. He has not lacked playing time.

However, the decision to bring the player back to the club makes plenty of sense in light of recent events.

The events are the absences of Celtic right-backs Hatem Abd Elhamed and Jeremie Frimpong due to injury.

Elhamed suffered an injury during the winter break training week in Dubai, whilst Frimpong was injured during the recent 3-1 win over Kilmarnock.

Lennon confirmed that Celtic are waiting on the results of a scan to learn how bad Frimpong’s injury is. As a result, the Hoops only have one natural right-back fit and available for selection, in Moritz Bauer.

With that in mind, the decision to recall Welsh is a sensible one.

Played at right-back 13 times this season

Celtic boss Neil Lennon at Parkhead (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Of the 15 games Welsh played for Morton this season, 13 were at right-back. Neil Lennon and the Celtic staff must have spotted that and decided to bring the player back to the club immediately.

With the return of Welsh to the club, Celtic can now have two right-backs in the squad. You would imagine that Neil Lennon would have no issues in putting Welsh on the bench for Saturday’s clash against Ross County.

After all, he has played in the Championship, which is a decent enough level. Interestingly enough, the player’s contract expires at the end of the season.

Move could lead to new deal for player?

Celtic players in training (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Should he impress in his time as Bauer’s understudy then maybe it could lead to a new deal with the club.

Injuries are always a concern for a club, and having two right-backs out of action at the same time is bad luck for the Hoops.

However, the fact that they recalled Welsh at such a critical moment of the season is a sensible move, and is one the club should be applauded for.