“He has definitely gone up a level from last year,” Ange praises Celtic star

Stephen Welsh was this week the subject of a second bid from French side Toulouse, this time offering to take the Celtic defender on a season long loan with an option to buy at £3.5m but that’s not something that is going to happen, as as we keep pointing out, their former player Christopher Jullien could easily go back to the south of France for a season at least to shore up their defence and to get valuable gamete after his long absence due to that knee injury.

Photo: Jeff Holmes

Ange Postecoglou last season transformed the fortunes of both Anthony Ralston and Greg Taylor and Welsh also too benefited from the game-time particularly in the first half of last season. The Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt partnership at the centre of the Celtic defence was so solid that it was difficult for Welsh to make too much of an impact as the season progressed, but the Scotland Under 21 was the back-up and often came off the bench.

Starfelt’s injury, picked up in June on international duty with Sweden, has kept him out of the six pre-season matches and he only returned to full training this week. Ange Postecoglou confirmed at his Media Conference on Friday afternoon that Starfelt and Ideguchi – who suffered a nasty gash on his leg in training that required a few stitches – will be missing from the flag day Scottish Premiership opener against Aberdeen this afternoon. That almost certainly means that Stephen Welsh will start and if you want an indication on what the manager thinks of the Scotland Under 21 star and Celtic Academy graduate then here it is. Ange is full of praise for the way Welsh has worked hard and has developed as a player over the past 12 months.

: David Turnbull of Celtic celebrates with Stephen Welsh and Greg Taylor after scoring their side’s sixth goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and St. Mirren FC at Celtic Park on August 21, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“Welshy has shown a lot of growth,” Ange stated. “I expect that from all the players. He has come back for pre-season and worked really hard through it.

“We are challenging him to take his game to another level. He has definitely gone up a level from last year and hopefully he knows that we will try to get even more out of him.”

That’s the reason why Toulouse have little to no chance of convincing Celtic to do without the services of Stephen Welsh for this season and to give the French side an option to buy at just £3.5m.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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