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.
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."