Celtic really must consider offloading Moritz Bauer next summer after Lee O’Connor’s international debut on Thursday.
Right-back had been one of Celtic’s weakest positions for some time.
Under Brendan Rodgers, the Hoops only really had Mikael Lustig as a reliable option for that role. Rodgers tried to change that and bring in Jeremy Toljan on loan from Borussia Dortmund in January, but even he didn’t add to the depth in that position, much like Cristian Gamboa and Anthony Ralston hadn’t.
It means that Celtic had a big decision to make when Lustig was released this past summer, even though Neil Lennon, who originally brought him to Glasgow, was desperate to keep him at the club.
But it’s fair to say that Lennon now has several quality right-back options.
Hatem Elhamed and Jeremie Frimpong arrived on permanent deals, while Stoke City’s Moritz Bauer was signed on a season-long loan.
Another recently-signed right-back who Celtic fans know less about is Lee O’Connor but, if his international debut is anything to go by, the Bhoys don’t need to keep Bauer beyond this season.
The 19-year-old defender made his debut in the Republic of Ireland’s 3-1 win over New Zealand on Thursday and fizzed in a stupendous cross for his country’s third goal.
O’Connor, yet to make his Celtic debut, has a lot to offer by the looks of things and with Elhamed and the exciting Frimpong on the books long term, there’s really no need to sign Bauer.
Stoke paid £5 million for the Austria international in 2018 [Daily Mail] and the Championship club will surely want to recoup as much of that as possible.
But logically, why spend millions on a right-back when you’ve already got three – including two with very bright futures?
Bauer is by no means a bad player but it does look very much like Celtic have better on the production line.