By Noel Whelan

24th Jul, 2021 | 8:00am

Whelan reveals why Starfelt is a 'big' Celtic signing

Noel Whelan has insisted new signing Carl Starfelt is “what Celtic need” to solve the defensive issues at Parkhead.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Aberdeen striker claimed the 26-year-old’s leadership would be “invaluable” to the Bhoys.

Celtic confirmed Starfelt’s signing from Rubin Kazan on Wednesday (July 21st).

The Sweden international has penned a four-year deal at Parkhead.

His capture was announced just 30 minutes after Celtic confirmed Kristoffer Ajer had left to join Brentford.

Whelan insisted centre-back had been a problem position for Celtic last season.

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As such, he backed Starfelt to be a “big, strong” leader and solve their issues in defence.

Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “Great business. The timing of it, it seems it was collaborating with the sale of Ajer to then bring him in.

“Having that money in the bank straight away to just push that deal through at the same time.

“It’s one player out, one player in straight away, especially when you’re going through the preliminary rounds of the Champions League, straight away he’s in the squad there.

“He can be available straight away to fit straight into that centre-half position and be that leader of the back. I think his experience playing for Sweden is going to be invaluable.

“He’s obviously coming into the club, and a very big club at that in Celtic, with high aspirations.

“To be that big, strong leader at the back that Celtic needed. That’s where they fell short last season, that centre-half position and their defensive capabilities.”

Ajer was a mainstay at centre-back for Celtic last season.

The Hoops also have Stephen Welsh and Christopher Jullien on their books.

Shane Duffy spent the majority of last season on loan at Parkhead but struggled for form.

In other news, Celtic “desperate” to sell senior ace, claims Scottish pundit.