"Not going anywhere"; Ange Postecoglou's firm message on young Celtic talent
Stephen Welsh is ‘not going anywhere’ despite reports of interest from Serie A side Udinese in the Celtic defender, Ange Postecoglou has told reporters.
Udinese are said to have had a loan-to-buy bid rejected, with expectations they will return with more offers in the coming days.
The Celtic manager has admitted he hasn’t been part of those discussions. However, he’s also insisted that Welsh has a long-term future at the Bhoys.
As quoted by The Glasgow Times, he said: “I haven’t really been involved in too much dialogue there. But I am not surprised that quite a few of our players are getting attention as we continue on this journey and continue to improve and hopefully have success.
“But Stephen Welsh is not going anywhere at the moment. I wouldn’t expect him to want to go anywhere because he is playing really well, he’s developing all the time. He is still a young player and there is more to come in his Celtic career.
“He has played a lot of football in the first half of the season but he’s developing all the time. He’s still a young player. I have a lot of time for him. He works hard in training and he wants to improve and keep pushing to make sure he becomes the best possible player he can.”
Welsh has made 19 appearances this season. However, it could be argued he is still the fourth-choice centre-half behind Cameron Carter-Vickers, Carl Starfelt and Christopher Jullien.
Selling him now, with a replacement, would be madness though. There are question marks surrounding Jullien’s fitness and return to the team, while Carter-Vickers has yet to commit to the club on a permanent basis.
We need Welsh around to fill in for these players not just as back-up, but in the event their own futures at the Bhoys become uncertain.
In that time we may even see the Scotland U21 captain improve further and push for a consistent starting spot ahead of the competition.