The Celtic star who has already set down early season marker

By Lewis Laird

August 1, 2022

Coming off the back of a successful season in 2021/22, it was always going to be hard for any player to break into Ange Postecoglou’s side this season.

The 56-year-old was fairly consistent on the squad he used across the double-winning campaign, building a solid nucleus that went on to enjoy great success.

Pre-season provided an opportunity for several fringe players to try and step up to the task, with Postecoglou looking to build his side for another hectic season to come.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The likes of Yosuke Ideguchi and James Forrest were provided with regular minutes across the six pre-season friendlies but due to several different circumstances, haven’t yet made their way into the starting 11.

One player who has broken through and earned a starting spot is Celtic defender Stephen Welsh.

The 22-year-old’s opportunity alongside Cameron Carter-Vickers arose due to the injury to the American’s defensive partner Carl Starfelt during the internationals in June.

However, Welsh’s place in the side was never guaranteed going into the new season, facing the challenge of starting ahead of Christopher Jullien and new signing Moritz Jenz.

The Scotland under-21 internationalist stepped up to the task and has looked impressive during his outings in pre-season.

Thanks to his form, Welsh kept his place in the side, starting the Hoops Scottish Premiership opener against Aberdeen.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

And the defender couldn’t really have asked for a much better afternoon at Paradise on Sunday, opening the scoring for the Bhoys within minutes and keeping a clean sheet in the 2-0 victory.

Many fans stated the argument on social media that the defender could have been in with a shout-for-man of the match had Jota not produced a moment of magic in the second half.

Just one game into the new season, the academy graduate has set down an early marker for Ange Postecoglou and the rest of the squad, producing another top performance, but this time in a competitive fixture.

Of course, the return of Carl Starfelt will produce another boost for Postecoglou. However, it may not be as simple as stepping straight back into the side for the Swedish defender.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

When you look back at previous seasons, the Celtic backline is an extremely good place in comparison, with the Hoops boss having plenty of different quality options to select from.

It will be interesting to see which two central defenders take the starting spot once everyone has returned from injury.

Stephen Welsh has certainly done himself no harm, showing how much he has improved across the last 12 months.

However, as the former Socceroos boss has reiterated on several occasions, there will be a use for all of his defenders, with a long season ahead for the Bhoys.

In other news, Ange Postecoglou’s latest comments should leave Celtic fans excited for what is to come.