Latest reports from the Daily Record confirms that Celtic are set to lose out on Huddersfield Town’s right back Tommy Smith who is close to a switch to Stoke City. The Terriers recently signed a right back, and it seemed clear that Smith was likely to depart from the club. However, the Englishman is set to stay in the Championship with Stoke and Celtic are on the verge of losing out on another right back.
But there could be a silver lining for the Bhoys in this as their path to sign George Baldock has been opened up. The Sheffield United man was linked with Celtic in the past few weeks, and ironically, Stoke City were the team competing for Baldock’s signature as well. However, now with the Potters being close to signing Smith, we feel that they would be unlikely to go for Baldock now.
Latest reports from Daily Record’s live transfer blog (7:14), also suggests that Lennon could renew his interest for Baldock after it became clear that they were going to lose out on the Huddersfield man. Celtic reportedly failed with a bid of £3m earlier for the Sheffield man.
Lennon on the need for a right back
Lennon recently acknowledged that right back is a problem area for his side. In the recently concluded first leg of the Champions League qualifiers against Sarajevo, the Hoops used centre back Kristoffer Ajer in that position. After the game, Lennon said, ”Right-back is a key area to strengthen. Kristoffer was outstanding, but we are looking to bring quality in. It’s not an easy process, but we are working away in the background.
The club only has Anthony Ralston as the outright right back after losing four fullbacks this summer. Celtic have failed to solve their right back problem for close to a year now with plenty of names being linked in that time.
Will Baldock solve Celtic’s problems?
It’s fair to say that Stoke got the better of the two fullbacks as we felt that Smith would have been a better option than Baldock. Nevertheless, given Celtic’s dire circumstances, even the signing of Baldock would be useful to them.
The English fullback is known for his attacking style of play, and he can even play as a right midfielder. His energy and agility are his standout assets, and he can provide lung bursting overlapping runs down the right. The 26-year-old played more as a right midfielder last season, and there are defensive vulnerabilities to his game.
Baldock doesn’t seem like a standout option to us, but with time running out and the season being already underway, Lennon might have to go with the former Oxford United fullback