Report: Celtic keeping tabs on Gillingham's Joe Walsh
Celtic are reportedly one of several top European clubs to be keeping tabs on Gillingham shot-stopper Joe Walsh.
The Evening Times has reported that the likes of Spurs, Manchester City, and RB Leipzig are all monitoring the 17-year-old, who only signed his first professional contract with the League One side in May (Joe Walsh Twitter).
Walsh isn’t the League One side’s number one at the moment. He’s been playing second-fiddle to Jack Bonham, but has been given two opportunities to impress in the EFL Trophy this season. His most recent performance came in Monday night’s 2-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur under-23s. His only other outing was a 4-0 mauling from Ipswich Town.
The Evening Times believes that Walsh impressed Spurs scouts with his clean sheet on Monday night.
No reported offer appears to have been launched as things stand. However, there are certainly some real heavyweights reportedly vying for his signature.
Celtic have plenty of young shot-stoppers already
Walsh seems to be contracted to Gillingham until 2022, with the player hinting he signed for three years on social media. That means that if Celtic or anybody else wants him, they’ll have to cough up.
Therefore, if this isn’t a deal we could get done on the cheap, why bother with it at all? If Walsh was to sign, he would hardly come straight into the first-team. In all likelihood, he would join up with the development squad.
The problem there is the fact that we already have Ryan Mullen, Conor Hazard, and Ross Doohan all fighting to be the club’s third-choice goalkeeper, albeit Doohan is currently on loan at Ayr United with Hazard at Dundee.
Below the trio, Celtic signed teenage goalkeeper Tobi Oluwayemi in the summer (CelticFC.net). So the club is certainly well-stocked when it comes to youth stoppers.
Fraser Forster and Craig Gordon are both contracted to leave the club at the end of the season of course. But would the addition of Walsh really replace either man appropriately? The Celtic supporters would demand a goalkeeper of higher-profile to replace the first-team men.
Walsh has hardly played any senior football throughout his career. If Celtic are to sign him, they have to make sure he has better potential than the three goalkeepers signed to the development squad.
Fortunately, the club are only monitoring Walsh for the moment. That should allow us the time needed to make a proper judgment. However, with some big Champions League sides also apparently in the mix, that could force us to move quicker than we would like if we want to buy the player.