Celtic have been dealt a major injury blow ahead of their upcoming Scottish League Cup semi-final.
That’s according to a report by Football Scotland, who revealed that Celtic centre-back Stephen Welsh had to be withdrawn late on in Scotland U21s’ 2-0 defeat to Belgium on Tuesday evening.
The report went on to state that the 21-year-old looked to pick up a knock in a collision with one of his Belgian counterparts, before limping out of the UEFA U21 Championship qualifier at Tannadice.
Considering the fact that Carl Starfelt is already a doubt for Saturday’s Scottish League Cup semi-final clash against St. Johnstone, the news that the Sweden international’s stand-in now also appears to be ruled out of the fixture is sure to have left Ange Postecoglou fuming.
Indeed, not only does Welsh’s injury leave the 56-year-old manager extremely short of options at the back, the Bhoys boss also appears to have lost one of his most promising young talents at Parkhead.
Over his five Scottish Premiership appearances this season, the £1.08m-rated man has helped his side keep two clean sheets and registered one assist, as well as making an average of 1.2 interceptions, 0.8 tackles, 2.2 clearances and winning 6.2 duels per game.
These returns have seen the Scotland U21 international average a highly impressive SofaScore match rating of 7.12, ranking him as Postecoglou’s joint 11th-best performer in the top flight of Scottish football.
As such, the 21-year-old’s injury will undoubtedly come as a major blow to the Greek-Australian’s chances of securing a victory against St. Johnstone, a result that Postecoglou will be desperate for in order to have a shot at picking up the first trophy of his tenure as Celtic manager.