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Celtic: Ange Postecoglou can unearth the new James Rodriguez in Rocco Vata

Despite still being just 16 years of age, there is a great deal of excitement surrounding the future of Celtic’s young attacking midfielder Rocco Vata.

Indeed, the Republic of Ireland under-17 international has been earning rave reviews for his performances in both the Hoops’ academy and the B team this season, with Darren O’Dea recently stating of the teenager: “I’ve known Rocco for a while, naturally I’ve been with the U18s for the last two seasons so he’s someone I know really well. The most impressive thing about him is probably his mentality, his attitude to the game.

“He’s someone that has a killer attitude that never stops, he has a fantastic ability to beat people and create chances. On top of that, he’s someone who has a really strong mind. He’s going in the right direction, it’s a case of supporting him.

“I’m confident to say that if he reaches his full potential which is our goal as a staff to do that, that potential could take him to the top.”

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However, it is not only those in the know at Celtic who are aware of Vata’s potential. The youngster has also caught the eye of Football Talent Scout’s Jake McGhee, who said of the Bhoys sensation in December: “On the ball it is clear to see that Rocco is an incredibly talented and naturally gifted footballer, possessing excellent close control and skill.

“Rocco has a keen eye for goal and has shown his ice-cold finishing from all over the pitch, he definitely has a long-range strike in his locker. His dribbling and flair are reminiscent of James Rodriguez.”

While the 16-year-old still has some way to go before he hits the heights of the player who Real Madrid signed for €90m (£71m) back in the summer of 2014, it is not difficult to see why McGhee has drawn comparisons between the two players. Vata possesses extremely impressive close control, the ability to sit down a defender and a rocket of a shot, as evidenced by the teenager’s spectacular strike for Ireland under-17s back in October, which can be seen below:

However, the youngster appears not only to be a scorer of great goals but also a great goalscorer, having bagged seven times for Celtic B in the Scottish Lowland League this season – a very impressive return for an attacking midfielder/winger.

As such, while Vata may well be a couple of years off becoming a first team regular at Parkhead, Postecoglou recently called up the academy prospect to training with the senior squad, so a Celtic debut might just be on the cards before the season is out.

Would you like to see Vata given a run out on Monday?





Should the Bhoys boss put his faith in the 16-year-old, he may well be rewarded with the discovery of Celtic’s next world-beater.

AND in other news: Sold for “cheap”, now worth £12.5m: Celtic had a nightmare on £58k-p/w “role model”

Article title: Celtic: Ange Postecoglou can unearth the new James Rodriguez in Rocco Vata

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