Celtic centre-back Stephen Welsh hasn’t started a competitive game for the Hoops since the Scottish Cup tie against Raith Rovers in February, but that could change on the opening day of the 2022/23 season.
With Carl Starfelt still recovering from an injury he picked up on international duty for Sweden, Welsh could be back in the Celtic side for the first league game of the season against Aberdeen on the 31st of July.
That would mean that the partnership of Starfelt and Carter-Vickers being broken up, which is a blow to the Hoops, but it does give Welsh a chance to show that he should be given more chances by Ange Postecoglou.
The upcoming games that Welsh is likely to feature in for the Hoops could be career defining for the 22-year-old, as he will be aiming to show that he should be a regular starter for Celtic.
The excellent form of Starflet and Carter-Vickers meant that Welsh’s chances last season were limited, and he would have understood that, as you can’t break up a partnership that is helping the Hoops win the title.
But with Starfelt’s likely absence at the start of the season, it looks like Welsh will get a chance to stake his claim for a place in the Celtic starting line-up.
Is Welsh as good a defender as Starfelt or Carter-Vickers? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t make a contribution to the Hoops going forward.
If he can help the Hoops get a run of wins and clean sheets during his time in the team, it will surely give the player plenty of confidence for the rest of the season, and increase his chances of featuring for the Bhoys on a regular basis.
Celtic will need to use their squad to the fullest if the Hoops are to have success both domestically and in Europe in season 2022/23, and that means fringe players coming in and doing a good job in the matches when they start for the Bhoys.
Welsh is a fringe player at the moment, but that could change if he does well for Celtic in the games which he looks set to start over the next few weeks. If Welsh can take his chance for the Hoops, then he might well be more than a fringe player in season 2022/23.
If he doesn’t perform well though, it is likely that he will be on the bench once. It is up to Welsh to make the most of the opportunity that is set to come his way.