After an exceptional performance at the U19 European Championships, Irish supporters have high hopes for Jonathan Afolabi. The striker’s work rate is incredibly impressive, and he has the physical gifts and touch around the penalty area that makes him an exciting prospect.
While Ireland would exit at the semi-final stage, he was included in the team of the tournament.
After surprisingly being released form Southampton at the end of last season, he was never going to have a shortage of interested suitors this summer.
Afolabi would eventually end up at Celtic, yesterday expressing his delight at joining the club.
The club has great facilities, and a great winning mentality, which is what I want to be a part of. My goal here is to be part of a winning squad, adopt that winning mentality, and learn from the boys.
If I can learn from the senior players, I’ll hopefully have the chance to play in front of these great fans.
With such a talented pool of players, it’s going to take time and hard work to break in, to prove myself to the manager and the dressing room – but that’s something I would have to do anyway.
Celtic was not the only offer the player had on the table.
According to The Atheltic, Afolabi turned down offers from five clubs in favour of a move to Glasgow. Wolves, Crystal Palace, Stoke City, Middlesbrough, and Lokomotiv Moscow all offered the player a contract.
The report claims the player chose Celtic as he saw a clearer route to first team football, a rationale that is difficult to argue with. Moussa Dembele made a similar move a few years ago, ignoring some huge clubs in order to move to Parkhead.
That transfer worked out splendidly for all involved, with Celtic eventually selling him to Lyon for a sizeable fee after a successful stint in the team.
Afolabi will no doubt be hoping for similar results.