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Inside FutbolInside Futbol

23/08/2019 - 22:51 BST

Quick, Tactically Smart, Great Mentality – National Team Coach Lauds Celtic New Bhoy


Celtic new Bhoy Jonathan Afolabi has been praised by Republic of Ireland Under-19s boss Tom Mohan, who feels the young forward is much more than just a big front man.

The Bhoys confirmed the arrival of Afolabi from Southampton's youth set-up on a three-year deal earlier this week, with the 19-year set to link up with Ireland Under-19s team-mates Luca Connell and Barry Coffey at Parkhead.  


It has emerged that the centre-forward rejected offers from the likes of Stoke City, Crystal Palace, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Lokomotiv Moscow, in favour of a move to Paradise.

Afolabi, who was involved in six goals from 14 matches for Southampton's Under-23s, was part of Ireland's Under-19 side that competed in the European Under-19s Championship last month, and scored once from his three games.

Ireland Under-19s coach Mohan has spoken highly of the young striker after he finalised his move to Celtic and heaped praise on him for his maturity and mentality.

People see a big fella but he likes to turn and go at defenders too in one-v-ones", Mohan told The Athletic.

"He covers the ground quickly, has got a turn of pace, and he’s tactically smart.

He’s got a great mentality, a great temperament about him.

"He’s a good lad, a mature lad, on and off the pitch."

The national team coach also feels that Afolabi is plotting his career back and knows the best route to the top.

"He knows his mind, knows what he wants, and he has a steely focus on what’s best for him.

Afolabi has been signed by Celtic with a view to being involved in the first team and will be keen to impress boss Neil Lennon as soon as possible.