CELTIC confirmed a one-year loan deal for Stoke City's Mortiz Bauer on Wednesday, with an option to sign the full-back for an agreed fee in a year's time if the club want to sign the Austrian full-back on a permanent deal.

A sizeable section of Celtic fans felt a little underwhelmed with the deal, to say the least. After all, this was a player who had fallen out of favour with the English Championship's bottom-placed club: just how good could he really be?

During Bauer's unveiling, Lennon admitted that the 27-year-old "lost his way" at Stoke but was confident that he could resurrect the right-back's career. "I am looking at his time at Rubin Kazan and his time with the national team where he looked a very good player," Lennon said. "I don’t think you lose the ability, but sometimes circumstances go against you. It’s a fresh start for him and hopefully he can take the opportunity."


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The Celtic manager made a good point here, and one that is worth listening to. Players join clubs and for whatever reason, it doesn't always work out but then they thrive in a different environment. Just look at one-time Celtic flop Teemu Pukki, who is now excelling in the English Premier League.

This summer was always going to be one of significant upheaval at Celtic, particularly when it came to the defence. Key players have left and a raft of new faces have been brought in, and they will all need time to bed into life at their new club. And while Lennon was right to point out that Bauer struggled for Stoke last season - the defender only made 11 appearances - the data suggests that Bauer is an upgrade of Celtic's previous regular right-back, Mikael Lustig.

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The graphic here highlights some of the key statistics for a modern full-back and details how Bauer has got on over the last four seasons, with Lustig's stats from last season thrown in for a sense of perspective. Two things jump out immediately: firstly, that when Bauer played last season, his figures aren't actually all that bad. And secondly, that Bauer has consistently out-performed Lustig in many key areas.

Last season, for example, Bauer attempted more tackles than Lustig, won more of them and gave the ball away on fewer occasions. In fact, over the last four seasons, Bauer has consistently posted better numbers than Lustig in this regard. The two right-backs generally hit around the same number of crosses, with similar accuracy, although it's interesting to note that Lustig is the better dibbler of the two. Bauer attempts more, but Lustig's success rate of 75% is remarkably high for a full-back.

This data paints a portrait of the kind of player Bauer is, and it make for encouarging viewing for Celtic fans. Bauer is generally solid in the tackle and active on the pitch; both qualities that Lennon values highly. Bauer's forward passing is certainly an area where he can improve - just 62% of his forward passes found their man, as opposed to Lustig's 74% - but, generally speaking, the 27-year-old looks like an upgrade on his predecessor.

This was always going to be a transfer window where Celtic needed to bring bodies in at the back and so far, Lennon has done so. Hatem Elhamed has been brought in and has looked effective so far at right-back, and the addition of Bauer only strengthens Lennon's hand. It might not have worked out for the Autrain international at Stoke, but there is little to suggest in the defender's performance data that history will repeat itself at Parkhead. On the contrary, he has all the attributes that Lennon values in his full-backs and could be a crucial player for the champions this season.