With the recent news that Celtic centre-back Stephen Welsh picked up an injury while on international duty with Scotland U21s on Tuesday, in addition to the fact that fellow centre-back Carl Starfelt is also a doubt for the Bhoys’ upcoming Scottish League Cup semi-final, Ange Postecoglou will undoubtedly be starting to get something of a selection headache ahead of the weekend.
Indeed, should both Welsh and Starfelt be unavailable for the fixture against St. Johnstone, the 56-year-old Hoops manager will only have the options of Cameron Carter-Vickers, Liam Scales and Osaze Urhoghide to pick from in the heart of his defence, with the latter two yet to feature in a single league fixture for Celtic this season.
However, despite the magnitude of Saturday’s clash, the fixture would nevertheless appear to be the perfect opportunity for Postecoglou to finally unleash the 21-year-old Urhoghide, as the defender very much appears to possess the potential to become a first-team regular at Parkhead before too long.
Indeed, the £270k-rated centre-back has already more than proven he is ready for professional football, as, prior to his switch to Celtic, the 21-year-old made 16 Championship appearances in his final campaign with Sheffield Wednesday, helping his side keep three clean sheets, as well as making an average of 1.6 interceptions, 1.8 tackles, 2.7 clearances and winning 5.8 duels per game.
These returns saw the defender who Darren Moore dub an “immense” talent average a SofaScore match rating of 6.63, a highly impressive feat considering his tender age and his club’s ultimate relegation to League One.
As such, despite Postecoglou’s recent suggestion that, due to a lack of opportunity, he may look to send Urhoghide out on loan in the January transfer window, the 56-year-old simply must unleash the centre-back this weekend, as, with a solid performance against St. Johnstone, the 21-year-old could well convince his manager he is worthy of his starting spot in the Celtic XI.