Carl Starfelt backs Celtic teammate with 'crazy physique' for international call-up

Open communication and outhouse build are cited by Carl Starfelt as elements that can make his Celtic central defensive partnership with Cameron Carter-Vickers the bedrock for a successful season at the club.

Celtic’s Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt celebrate with the Premier Sports Cup final success over Hibs on in December with the Swedish international convinced their mix can be the defensive foundation for more success this season. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Ange Postecoglou’s final-third additions have drawn most of the acclaim and attention - midfielder Matt O’Riley spotted at Celtic Park ahead of an expected £1.5m move from MK Dons that would make him the club’s fifth January signing. Meanwhile, there have been many begrudgers of the Swedish international’s input for Celtic. Yet, the numbers covering his partnership with the on-loan Tottenham Hotspur are more than decent. The pair have started 18 games together since Carter-Vickers arrived on deadline day. Nine of those outings have brought clean sheets, a solitary goal conceded in a further seven of those encounters. Only in the 4-3 defeat in Betis and the 4-0 loss at home to Bayer Leverkusen have the pair been seriously exposed.

And since their first month as a pairing, they have combined for 10 wins and a draw. Starfelt, a £4m summer signing from Rubin Kazan, acknowledges he has had an “up and down time” but hopes for greater “consistency” as Celtic push through a hectic period that will see them at Alloa in the Scottish Cup on Saturday following the 1-0 league victory at home to Hibs in midweek with which they resumed the campaign following the winter break. He has only commendations, though, for what Carter-Vickers has produced in his five months in Scotland, and is in awe of a God-given attribute he believes should assist in earning him international recognition after two years out of the US set-up.

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“I like playing with him a lot. He’s a very good player and I think we have developed a good chemistry on and off the pitch,” said the 26-year-old. “We speak a lot about different situations and how we want to play. We are taking steps every time. I feel confident going into every game beside him. I can see why there is talk about the USA coming [in to cap him again]. He’s a top player. He’s got a crazy physique for a start! It’s better to be beside him than against him…But he’s also an intelligent player so I would not be shocked if his country called him.”

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