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Thread: Jonathan Afolabi (F Celtic (loaned to Dundee) b.2000)

  1. #61
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    Disappointing but not surprising to see him heading back to the Scottish Championship. Dundee are one of the stronger teams which is something I suppose, but the standard of the league is just really poor, probably lower than even the conference/national league in England.

    Would be interesting to know what teams he turned down to sign for Celtic - given that it was reported that he had a lot of options at the time it must be one of the worst transfer decisions made by an Irish player in recent years.

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    Seasoned Pro Razors left peg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by youngirish View Post
    He needs to get away from Celtic and the SPL as soon as possible if his career is to kick on. Hopefully he has a successful loan spell and ignites some interest in an English Championship or League 1 club before he finds himself back in Ireland playing for Waterford.
    Tbh I wouldn't mind if he moved to another SPL club but I think Afolabi might not make it. He was released by Southampton, got the move to Celtic off the back of good underage performances for us where he was generally able to outmuscle other young guys, its different story playing against men and hes had a year where he's been irrelevant. He needs football anywhere now

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    That is all very harsh, in my opinion. He's a fine player with plenty of potential and had a fantastic under 19 tournament because he is that fine player. I don't agree he earned that move from "outmuscling" others. That's... Stereotyping, I feel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olé Olé View Post
    That is all very harsh, in my opinion. He's a fine player with plenty of potential and had a fantastic under 19 tournament because he is that fine player. I don't agree he earned that move from "outmuscling" others. That's... Stereotyping, I feel.
    Its far from stereotyping, its exactly what he did for 1 goal in particular that I remember from that tournament.

    A lot of people say here that Celtic are bad for youth players but that's not always true, good players have always come through the ranks. But Celtic are a massive club and sign a lot of players so you have to be very good to make breakthrough there. I get the feeling that some of our players that have gone there in last couple seasons probably felt it was an easy route to 1st team football coming from England but found its not that easy when Celtic constantly sign players for 5 or 10 million.

    Afolabi went on loan last year and didn't set the world on fire. Lee O Connor the same. Connell is stagnated completely too. Can blame Celtic to a degree but players have to step up too. Afolabi has done nothing to suggest he's not more than a good u19 player. If he goes on loan to Scottish Championship he needs to be scoring 20 goals to have a hope of getting into 1st team at Celtic

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    I can see RLP’s point, but I honestly thought I saw enough to convince me there was a bit more about Jonathan. He brought players into the game well with intelligent link up play and seemed to be a promising dribbling. Anyways, his Celtic days have severely hampered any development. Senior football anywhere will do. Agree he needs to knock in >15 goals at that level this year to justify playing at higher level. No championship side would take a punt on him as he’s unproven. It will take him a few weeks to get back up to any semblance of match fitness I assume so the sooner his loan deal is wrapped up the better

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    He was named in the team of the tournament so he was hardly just rewarded for one goal.

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    That whole campaign (including qualifiers), he showed strength, pace, skill, good link up and hold up play and good shooting. He was unplayable. Himself and Joe Hodge were the clear standout players...

    Lennon said that he was on the verge of the first team within a few months of signing, and then never gave him an opportunity. It’s really a lack of joined up thinking at the club.

    They spend good money on promising young players and then they stifle them with mediocrity in front of them, primarily for short term gains...

    Frankly, it’s a club where it should be easy to integrate young attackers. There’s so many games where they’re winning 3-0 or whatever with half an hour left. It’s the ideal scenario.

    Honestly, if you go through the 5 youngsters...

    Afolabi – rejected offers from premier league sides and was rated higher than Idah by most when he signed

    Connell - proved at 17, he was good enough to compete in the championship. Has yet to play since signing...

    Okoflex - was given a guarantee by Rodgers that he’d be playing first team football at 18. Rodgers left before than became a reality and he never got an opportunity

    O’Connor - left United to play first team football. Ireland international. Hasn’t ever gotten a game.

    Coffey - better player than someone like Conor Grant who is starting to make his breakthrough for Sheffield Wednesday now.

    Real shame for every player...

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  9. #68
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    Young players need regular games at a decent level to develop. Who knows how good they can be without those games? Look at someone like Dara O'Shea. A year on loan at Exeter improved his game immensely. The regular game time helped him develop into a better player (currently) than the more highly rated Masterson who sat in the U23's at Liverpool during the same period and whose career is now in limbo.

    At Celtic not one of the young Irish players have managed to get any game time so all are stagnating at a crucial time in their career.

    Afolabi needs to be banging goals in for fun at Dundee to get his career back on track. He's almost 21 and even at this tender age this could easily be his last chance to make a career for himself at a decent level.
    Last edited by youngirish; 29/09/2020 at 7:58 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tommy_c12000 View Post
    I can see RLP’s point, but I honestly thought I saw enough to convince me there was a bit more about Jonathan.
    I agree with this. I'd say the same about Connell too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Razors left peg View Post
    Its far from stereotyping, its exactly what he did for 1 goal in particular that I remember from that tournament.

    A lot of people say here that Celtic are bad for youth players but that's not always true, good players have always come through the ranks. But Celtic are a massive club and sign a lot of players so you have to be very good to make breakthrough there. I get the feeling that some of our players that have gone there in last couple seasons probably felt it was an easy route to 1st team football coming from England but found its not that easy when Celtic constantly sign players for 5 or 10 million.

    Afolabi went on loan last year and didn't set the world on fire. Lee O Connor the same. Connell is stagnated completely too. Can blame Celtic to a degree but players have to step up too. Afolabi has done nothing to suggest he's not more than a good u19 player. If he goes on loan to Scottish Championship he needs to be scoring 20 goals to have a hope of getting into 1st team at Celtic
    I watched the games Luca Connell was involved in during pre-season and he did better than almost every player. Who is to blame for his stagnation, because from what I witnessed, it wasn't him?

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    Quote Originally Posted by youngirish View Post
    Young players need regular games at a decent level to develop. Who knows how good they can be without those games? Look at someone like Dara O'Shea. A year on loan at Exeter improved his game immensely. The regular game time helped him develop into a better player (currently) than the more highly rated Masterson who sat in the U23's at Liverpool during the same period and whose career is now in limbo.
    That is the conventional thinking and there’s definitely truth in it. A good loan spell can do wonders for a player but a bad loan spell can be equally detrimental to a player.

    There are also avenues for players to develop without a loan. I’ll use Liverpool as an example, because they were mentioned RE Masterson.

    Trent Alexander-Arnold developed and became young player of the year without ever needing a loan out of the club. Currently, Curtis Jones is on the same pathway, and probably Neco Williams too. (at Man Utd, you could use Rashford, Greenwood and Brandon Williams).

    Thinking of players they recently sold, Ki-Jana Hoever the lad who Wolves just bought for 13.5m and made his debut came through the club’s academy without going on loan. Equally, Rafael Camacho, they sold to Sporting Lisbon last summer and he was nominated for the golden boy this year.

    Meanwhile, Rhian Brewster went on a very successful loan to Swansea last year as they felt he was first team ready and recent debutant centre-half Rhys Williams was sent on loan to non-league because they felt he needed to be toughened up.

    Meanwhile someone like Ben Woodburn looked like a really promising player at 16,17,18 but a series of bad loan moves have stunted his development.

    I recognise that more often young players suffer from a lack of playing time in terms of development but it’s not as black and white as it’s portrayed. Generally we criticise the clubs for not giving players either opportunities or loans, and we criticise the players for either a) resting on their laurels or b) when they go on loan and struggle or don’t play, then it’s a case of “he couldn’t get his game at league 1” or whatever. When often clubs are guilty of sending their players out on loan to a side where they shouldn’t be going, simply because they’re prepared to pay more of the players wages. Once the player is out on loan, he’s totally neglected until the next season. I’ve heard stories of players going to a league 1 or league 2 club on loan as a teenager, being put in a rundown bedsit without any working kitchen except a microwave. The player stops eating right etc etc.

    In this instance, I’d be critical of Celtic for both their handling of young players at the club and the loans they’ve arranged for their players.

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    Season long loan to Dundee confirmed anyway. Better than sitting about doing next to nothing in Dublin or Glasgow is about the most positive spin you could put on it.

    Hopefully Connell gets a loan move at a better level before the window closes.

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    The idea that Clubs will let potentially Valuable players slip through their fingers willy nilly is a bit silly. Sure there are exceptions. Sometime a young fella that may have been going the wrong way reacts to being let go in a manner that can turn a career around. Often they don’t !

    Why would most clubs let Valuable Assets not work out ? ? That does not make sense !

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    Quote Originally Posted by seanfhear View Post
    The idea that Clubs will let potentially Valuable players slip through their fingers willy nilly is a bit silly. Sure there are exceptions. Sometime a young fella that may have been going the wrong way reacts to being let go in a manner that can turn a career around. Often they don’t !

    Why would most clubs let Valuable Assets not work out ? ? That does not make sense !
    It's all relative though, isn't it? Clubs overall wages bills and running costs for academies aren't insignificant. You're limited to probably about 18-20 U23s and 18-20 U18s. There's often limited capacity within the infrastructure itself. Often it's a choice between player A and player B, two players with decent potential - and clubs aren't always right in terms of evaluation. Obviously, the younger the player is, the harder that decision is (see Harry Kane at Arsenal, and Declan Rice at Chelsea).

    You'd imagine offering him a two year deal would have cost £400k (at just under 4k per week), but then a 2 year deal is a little risky because if he continues in your academy for a year at 23s, then he's got a year left on his deal and you've got to offer him a new deal then, because he's not gonna go out on loan for the last year of his contract, or else you give him a 3 year deal, at which point you're committing 600k to him. Those were some of the issues that Kian Flanagan had in getting a loan.

    At Southampton, he was certainly behind Obafemi. There's other good young attacking players coming through as well.

    You can see the difference though, between say him and Glen McAuley, who are both from the 2000 class. When Afolabi was released, he contacted by clubs from Premier League, Championship, League 1, SPL, League of Ireland and around Europe. The perception was that he was a valuable asset to everyone else...

    McAuley meanwhile received enquiries from the league of ireland.

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  19. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by livehead1 View Post
    I watched the games Luca Connell was involved in during pre-season and he did better than almost every player. Who is to blame for his stagnation, because from what I witnessed, it wasn't him?
    I seen a half of preseason football where Connell was very good against I think Hibs, but we dont know what hes like in day to day training. I dont see him being linked with a load of clubs fighting to try sign him. Celtics midfield is full of good pros and its not that easy to get into

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  21. #76
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    Afolabi has signed a year's contract extension at Celtic as well. Contracted until 2023 now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eirambler View Post
    Afolabi has signed a year's contract extension at Celtic as well. Contracted until 2023 now.
    When Anthony Stokes had his loan with Falkirk he tore up the division and made himself hot property. If Afolabi can do the same I'd be delighted and I'll happily admit I was wrong about him.

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    He just smashed a debut goal in from 25 yards in a friendly against the mighty Peterhead. Good start. Hopefully he has kept himself in shape well. But I heard he was training by himself at home in Dublin, as Celtic have abandoned their underage setup for now

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    Quote Originally Posted by tommy_c12000 View Post
    He just smashed a debut goal in from 25 yards in a friendly against the mighty Peterhead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eirambler View Post
    Afolabi has signed a year's contract extension at Celtic as well. Contracted until 2023 now.
    Contrary to all the talk on here Jonathon must feel Celtic see a future for him and have helped his development up to now

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