Celtic’s urgent right-back need could see them turn back to George Baldock

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…

Celtic look to have missed out on the signing of Tommy Smith and could turn their attention back to Sheffield United’s George Baldock, according to The Daily Record.

What’s the story?

The paper say that the Hoops had been in the hunt to sign the Huddersfield Town man but will now miss out on his signing to Stoke City.

With the right-back position still a priority, the report states that the Hoops could return for one of their former targets, George Baldock of English Premier League side Sheffield United.

The outlet reckon that Celtic had a £3m offer for him kicked into touch last month but could “go back to the table” with an improved offer.

It’s time to throwback to another Celtic legend in the video below. This time, Keith from C’mon the Hoops remembers Stiliyan Petrov…

How badly is a right-back needed?

The departures of Mikael Lustig, Jeremy Toljan and Cristian Gamboa have left Celtic in pretty dire shape on the right hand side of defence, with just Anthony Ralston available as a natural choice in the position.

Considering Neil Lennon chose to start midfielder Nir Bitton in defence and centre-back Kristoffer Ajer at right-back against FK Sarajevo, Ralston is clearly not trusted in the position to compete at the level Celtic need.

Whether it’s Smith, Baldock or another, someone needs to come in the door soon because the makeshift nature of the defence could start to cost them as the challenges grow in UEFA Champions League qualifying.

Playing important players out of position is not feasible as it not only fails to provide the best possible option in the covered position, but also weakens the team elsewhere.

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Baldock, in his prime at 26 years of age, has decent experience in the English lower leagues and last season played his part in helping the Blades win automatic promotion to the top-flight, making 27 appearances.

Celtic are clearly interested, having had a bid rejected previously, so it’s time to get this deal over the line.