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Celtic plan to fast-track Jonathan Afolabi into first-team

Celtic signed promising young striker Jonathan Afolabi from Southampton over the summer, on freedom of contract.

He signed a three-year deal with the Parkhead club in spite of an offer to stay on in England at St Mary’s and interest from elsewhere in the EPL and the Championship.

He immediately went straight into Celtic’s Development Team.

Whilst with the Saints he broke into the Ireland Under 19 team, and forced his way into the club’s own Under 23 side, but he could never make the breakthrough to the first team squad.

Back in August, Neil Lennon said that he was already in his thinking for the first team squad, and now, according to Football Insider, he might be in line for a place quicker than expected. Indeed, the report  says there are plans to fast-track him into the first-team.

Should he actually get the chance, he faces a monumental task to get into the starting eleven with so many talented players in front of him. Not short of form, Ryan Christie, James Forrest and Odsonne Edouard have scored a combined 21 goals this season.

His versatility – he can play anywhere across the front – is to his advantage but even so, this is a club with plenty of talent in those roles already, and with Daniel Arzani back from injury the competition just got fiercer. Scott Sinclair, meanwhile, has barely featured this season with just 56 minutes to his name but boasts 61 career goals for Celtic.

It will take a very big talent to crack this cohort, but the 19-year-old appears to have won Lennon’s confidence. If he can produce then Celtic fans could soon have a new hero to worship.

Article title: Celtic plan to fast-track Jonathan Afolabi into first-team

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