Report: Ange Postecoglou makes superb decision on Celtic defender Stephen Welsh

By David Walton

January 11, 2022

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has refused to allow young centre-back Stephen Welsh to leave the club this month, according to the Daily Record.

It had been claimed earlier this week that Udinese were looking to sign the defender for up to £1.5m [Scottish Sun].

However, the Record states that Celtic have made it clear to the Serie A club that Welsh is going nowhere. Instead, Ange wants Welsh to stay at Parkhead and battle it out for further regular football.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The Lennoxtown academy graduate remains highly-rated at Parkhead and has a contract in Glasgow that ties him here until 2025.

He’s also been regularly utilised under Ange this season too. Welsh has made 19 appearances and been given a lot more regular exposure this season [Transfermarkt]. That’s despite not being recognised as one of top 2 centre-back choices at the club.

The Celtic boss has already talked up his love of what Welsh has to offer [Scottish Sun], with the youngster also being made Scotland U21 captain this season.

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It would be interesting to know what Welsh thought regarding the speculation. He’s a level-headed young man and it almost certainly won’t have an adverse effect on his performances. But whether it was something that would’ve interested him would be good to know.

After all, the prospect of going to Italy to live at 21? Playing in Serie A on a weekly basis and being considered a first-choice centre-back in one of the top leagues in Europe? Not to mention in a country where defending is considered an art form.

Regardless, it hasn’t come about for him and he’ll remain at Celtic Park. Hopefully, that’s exactly what the player wanted to happen.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

Having the backing of Postecoglou needs to give him a major confidence boost. There’s a reason he’s so highly valued and it’s clear in his first-team exposure just how much the manager loves him.

The player’s valuation, however, was a lot more than the £1.5m being mooted in the media. That was more of a slap in the face to Celtic more than anything. A total insult that was never going to lead to Udinese getting their man. If they want to get around the table again, it’ll need to be a lot more serious.

But Ange appears to have made his mind up. All eyes then on how Welsh reacts when the Premiership action resumes next week.

In other news, Hibernian gear up for Celtic Park trip by signing ex-Belgian U21 international