Ange Postecoglou pinpoints Celtic player who has 'gone up a level'
Celtic’s squad restructuring under Ange Postecoglou has undeniably squeezed opportunities for the club’s home-grown players.
Yet there is one such performer that the Celtic manager believes is rising to the challenge of not allowing that to happen. A player that isn’t much talked about when considering the options available to the Australian.
With Carl Starfelt a week away from returning to contention for a central defensive slot, Stephen Welsh will operate alongside Camaeron Carter-Vickers as Celtic open up their title defence at home to Aberdeen. The Scotland under-21 will do so despite the fact that Moritz Jenz and Christopher Jullien could be deployed. Welsh’s possession of the jersey – at least for now – is testament to his progress in the past year, according to the Celtic manager. Progress that has been noted elsewhere, with the 22-year-old linked with loan moves to Udinese and Toulouse.
“Welshy has shown a lot of growth,” said Postecoglou. “I expect that from all the players. He has come back for pre-season and worked really hard through it. Because of our defensive situation we have not had too many options at centre-back so he and Cam have played in the majority of games and his performances are improving all the time.
“We are challenging him all the time to take his game to another level. That’s the nature of the beast, you have to keep improving whether you are established or not.
“Welshy has been with the club for a very long time. Last year was his first significant year as a first-team member and he has come back determined to make more of an impact. He wants to take his game to another level and he has embraced that challenge.
“He has definitely gone up a level from last year and hopefully he knows that we will try to get more out of him.”