Italian Report: Udinese medical for former Celtic man as they move on from Stephen Welsh

By David Walton

January 12, 2022

Udinese have moved for Filip Benkovic after they were previously rebuffed by Celtic for Stephen Welsh, Sky Sport Italia has reported [12/01, 13:50, love blog].

It was stated earlier this week that the Serie A giants were looking to sign Welsh on a loan deal with an option to buy. However, the idea of the Hoops centre-back leaving Parkhead was nipped in the bud by Ange Postecoglou [Daily Record].

And it looks as though Udinese have moved on quickly too. Instead of coming back with another offer for Welsh, they’ve instead plumped for another ex-Celt in Benkovic. Sky Sport believe that he’s in Italy carrying out his medical examinations.

Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images

Benkovic spent time on loan at Parkhead during the 2018/19 campaign. He became a hit with supporters despite suffering from injury problems. He would ultimately leave Celtic Park with a treble under his belt regardless.

The Hoops were also reportedly in talks to strike a deal with Leicester for the player last January [Sky Sports]. However, nothing came of it in the end with Filip having struggled to reignite his career since leaving Glasgow.

It looks as though any move to Udinese is set to be a permanent one. From a Celtic perspective, however, it looks as though all interest in Welsh is now over.

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Filip Benkovic gets Udinese chance as Stephen Welsh focuses on Celtic development

It would be absolutely fascinating to know what Welsh himself thought of the interest from Udinese. Given their history in developing young talent, it must’ve been something that interested him. Excited him perhaps.

But at the same time, he has so much still to achieve here. It’s easy to forget that he only actually broke into the Celtic side back in October 2020. We know how things have gone since then.

It’s easy to look at the first-team situation and be a touch disgruntled if you’re the player. Knowing that you aren’t one of the nailed on first-choice starters will almost certainly cause a level of frustration. In fact Ange Postecoglou would probably encourage it.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

Postecoglou is clearly a huge fan of the player. And given he’s only 21 years of age, the potential he has along with the first-team experience to his name already stands him in good stead.

It feels as though we should be expecting big things from Stephen in the coming years. Especially with the faith Postecoglou likes to place in his youngsters.

Hopefully, the Udinese stuff is now put to rest and he can focus on his Parkhead development. He still has some way to go before he’s reached his full potential.

In other news, Accies manager addresses reported Celtic interest in his top young talent Jamie Hamilton