McAvennie digs at two silent Celtic players, wowed by talkative 21-yr-old outshining them
Frank McAvennie wants to see Celtic defender Stephen Welsh play alongside and learn from a “top defender” – but not silent senior duo Kristoffer Ajer and Nir Bitton.
The former Hoops and West Ham striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, said he was “very disappointed” that the club did not sign a centre-back in the January transfer window.
Welsh, 21, kept a clean sheet in just his fourth start of the season on Tuesday night as Neil Lennon’s side bounced back from a disappointing loss to St Mirren with a 4-0 win over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.
He partnered Kristoffer Ajer in the middle of the defence while there was a debut for deadline day loan signing Jonjoe Kenny at right-back.
McAvennie noticed that Welsh, despite his inexperience and age, was the organiser at the back.
“I thought Welsh and Ajer did well,” he told Football Insider.
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“The two of them look comfortable together but I am still not totally convinced by that back four. There was a couple of balls that came into the box and your heart is in your mouth. Killie could have got in.
“Welsh did alright but he is not the big, commanding type I would like to see at centre-half.
“When you bring a young lad like that in you hope that Ajer will be talking to you and doing the organising but I do not think that happened. I think Welsh was talking to them, so he deserves credit for that.
“I would like to see him play alongside and be taught by top defenders, not Bitton or Ajer. I would like to see Welsh have a wee run of games with a top centre-half, so I am very disappointed that we did not get one in January.”