Moritz Bauer’s uncertain future has hit the headlines again with Celtic manager Neil Lennon omitting to mention him when talking about the future of his loanees.
The Stoke boss has yet to see him at close quarters, but he also has right backs already in place in Tommy Smith and Tom Edwards.
O’Neill hasn’t spoken directly about Bauer yet, but two statements within the past week do shed some light on the subject.
The first doesn’t sound too promising for Bauer, but given the Austrian international’s energetic attributes, perhaps the second does.
See what you think…
1) What O’Neill said about Edwards at last week’s Fan Forum
“He’s very much a part of the squad and training with the squad.
“Against Reading (in December), I felt his confidence looked short and he looked anxious.
“He seemed to suffer a bit and he’s young and sometimes you have to take young players out of that situation.
“Also, we spent quite a bit of money on Tommy Smith, but Tom is very much in the plans, but he’s going to have to do more to push his way into the team.
“He’s got the potential, but the onus is on Tom to fulfil that potential.”
These comments sound like two’s company and three’s a crowd, so not good for Bauer.
2) What O’Neill said at the same Fan Forum about the qualities he wants
“We will sign players and build a squad to play in that (4-3-3) system because you have to have a team that has to be 50-50 in possession, if not more than that, and we want a team that’s dominant in possession and capable of scoring goals.
“We’ve shown we can score goals and another key thing is speed and running power in the team with attacking full backs, so there’s all areas where we are looking to improve.”
If ever there was an attacking full back that man is Moritz Bauer.