Ange Postecoglou has a number of problems on his plate now he’s officially become the new Celtic manager.
One issue he’ll need to solve at Parkhead is in defence where not only are numbers depleted, but their current options don’t provide much hope.
Celtic are reportedly moving closer to an agreement to sign Mario Vuskovic from Hajduk Split but a number of other defenders have also been on their radar.
Another defender the Hoops have looked at is Sheffield United’s George Baldock. Record Sport reported late on Sunday that he was now under consideration from the Bhoys hierarchy.
The 28-year-old’s name is high on their shortlist and has emerged back on their radar two years after they initially targeted him.
Baldock was a player brought to the table in 2019 after Mikael Lustig departed Glasgow.
If there is one area where Celtic look particularly light heading into the new season, it’s at right-back.
Neil Lennon agreed to sell Jeremie Frimpong to Bayer Leverkusen back in January but they only replaced the Dutchman in temporary fashion with the loan of Jonjoe Kenny.
The Everton defender didn’t particularly impress at Paradise and has now headed back to Merseyside as a result.
Consequently, Baldock could fill the vacant hole on the right-hand side of defence.
The Sheffield United man is a versatile footballer, capable of playing through the middle, as a right-back or right-wing back.
Baldock has caught the eye over the last two years in the Premier League with the Blades and before their relegation last term, he was one of their most consistent players.
The experienced defender contributed to five goals in the 2019/20 campaign, proving to be a constant threat in the final third.
One of his strikes even earned a comparison to one of the best British players to play the game.
After finding the net against Norwich in December 2019, Garth Crooks commented: “I wasn’t sure if it was George Baldock or George Best! I thought I was seeing things when I saw Baldock drag the ball back, pirouette and strike a glorious shot past Tim Krul. The finish – not to mention the skill – was superb along with Sheffield United’s performance.”
Not only is Baldock a shrewd operator in front of goal but he possesses the energy and work ethic to fit seamlessly into their right-hand side.
Speaking about his game previously, Hearts boss Robbie Neilson said: “He’s a very athletic player, has a superb attitude and works really hard at his game. He is a very good footballer and he would fit in well at Celtic.
“George’s biggest strength is he possesses real quality going forward. He is also very competitive, which is another attribute I’m sure the Celtic supporters will like about him.”
Those comments came after initial links to Baldock two years ago.
Since then, he’s developed his game astutely, winning over 1.5 tackles per game in each of the last two campaigns.
With Postecoglou in desperate need of full-backs, the Sheffield United defender’s services would be valuable if he signs on the dotted line.