Celtic sign highly-rated Ireland U21 star Lee O'Connor from Man United 2 months ago

Celtic sign highly-rated Ireland U21 star Lee O'Connor from Man United

The defender was called into a few travelling Manchester United senior squads at the end of last season.

Celtic have signed up another promising Irish youngster, in Lee O'Connor.

The 19-year-old was given permission to leave the Ireland U21 squad today to head to Glasgow and sign for Celtic. He joins the Scottish champions from Manchester United on a four-year deal.

(Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile)

O'Connor will join fellow Ireland U21 teammate Jonathan Afolabi, who joined from Southampton last month, in the Celtic senior squad. In an interview on the Celtic website, O'Connor says:

"It feels surreal at the moment... I found out last weekend about Celtic’s interest, and it went from there. Today was a bit hectic but I’m just glad to get it through before the window shuts.

"The Irish squad met up this morning and I spoke to the manager, Stephen Kenny, and he was fine about me coming here today. I’ll meet up them again tomorrow for training.

"I’m a versatile player. I can play anywhere across the back four or midfield if needed. I’d say that I’m a wholehearted defender. I love defending and tackling, but I like to get forward as well. First and foremost, though, I am a defender."

O'Connor is a Celtic fan and recalled having come to 'Paradise' for a stadium tour with his family when he was a youngster. He even spoke enthusiastically about his new side's 2-0 win over Rangers at the weekend.

"It was a great result, so it’s a good start to the season for the team, and it was good to see a fellow Irishman [Jonny Hayes] getting a goal too,” he said.

"Walking through the Celtic Park tunnel, even in an empty stadium, I just want to run out on to the pitch, but I’ll just have wait and see what happens. It’s been a surreal week, but I’m really happy to be here and really proud as well."