Stoke City boss Michael O’Neil has dismissed rumours suggesting a January recall is on the cards for Moritz Bauer and hinted that his permanent future could ‘lie away’ from the Championship strugglers.
Reports last week had speculated about whether O’Neil would recall Bauer in January given Stoke’s defensive problems this season, with the Potters currently 23rd in the Championship and three points adrift of safety.
However according to the Evening Times via the Stoke Sentinel, O’Neil has hinted that Bauer is not part of his plans at Stoke and a recall in January is therefore off the table.
There’s different types of loans. Harry Souttar’s and [Thibaud] Verlinden’s loans are very different from Wimmer’s and Bauer’s loans. Players on loan from a development point of view we have to watch very closely because we believe they have an awful lot to offer the football club.
But players out on loan for other reasons, possibly their future lies away from the club and we have to focus on those we believe have a future at the club.
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O’Neil’s comments will certainly come as a positive for Neil Lennon and Celtic.
While Bauer is arguably third choice behind both Hatem Abd Elhamed and Jeremie Frimpong, his departure would have left Celtic slightly short in the right-back department, especially given the former’s injury struggles.
The Austria international has looked solid so far when called upon, and while a permanent move for him at the end of the season could be unlikely, he will be a useful option to have for the remainder of the campaign.