Confirmed: Celtic youngster Daniel Kelly signs first pro contract at Parkhead

By Euan Davidson

March 24, 2022

Much-discussed Celtic youngster Daniel Kelly has ended speculation about his immediate future by signing professional terms with the Bhoys.

Kelly had been linked with a sensational move to Liverpool or Benfica in recent days [Daily Record], along with Premier League moves for Ben Doak and Mitchel Frame.

However, the hotly-tipped Celtic Academy talent has put himself in the frame for a bigger role under Ange Postecoglou, signing a 3-year contract. The Greek-Aussie boss has been keen to use Celtic Academy talents in his first-team, either training at Lennoxtown or in the actual squad.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

The momentum seemed to be with Kelly signing a new deal. However, with big-name clubs like Arsenal and Liverpool in the frame, there were worries around the 16-year-old playmaker.

Having lost talents like Liam Hughes and Josh Adam to Liverpool and Manchester City in recent years, anxiety was understandable. Add Hjelde, Angelini, Morrison, Hepburn and more to that list.

Kelly, though, won’t be joining it.

Celtic announced Daniel Kelly’s contract on Twitter. They posted:

With the unique ’92’ shirt number, Kelly may be a player that fans will see at Celtic Park towards the end of the season.

Already, we’ve had Karamoko Dembele, Owen Moffat, Adam Montgomery, Dane Murray, Joey Dawson and Ben Doak appear in the Celtic first team.

Considering the hype around the playmaker, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that Kelly’s loyalty will be rewarded with a first-team appearance.

Celtic accept tiny Ibrox allocation as a nervy six days begin | Jackie McNamara on 67 Hail Hail

Celtic accept tiny Ibrox allocation as a nervy six days begin | Jackie McNamara on 67 Hail Hail
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

Celtic hold onto top youth talent in the form of Daniel Kelly; Ange Postecoglou will be delighted

No doubt, the Celtic boss will be happy with this one.

He’s maintained that giving youth players a chance is his prerogative. He’s already shown that, and will assuredly continue in that manner.

There are so many talented young players in the Celtic Academy these days. Daniel Kelly is undoubtedly one, but Celtic also have the likes of Ben Summers, Rocco Vata, Adam Brooks and Bosun Lawal breaking through. The 22-23 pre-season will surely be a pivotal moment in a few careers.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Kelly staying is a sign of intent. Firstly, because it was Celtic who broke the news themselves. Secondly, because it says that Celtic can hold onto promising young talent, despite interest from elsewhere.

Hopefully, we see the youth system being invigorated with investment in the future. If Ange Postecoglou wants first-team players coming from the Academy, the club have to make sure players want to stay. Part of that is ensuring there’s a clear pathway from the Academy upwards.

In terms of Daniel Kelly in and of himself, though, this is great news for Celtic. He could be a fantastic talent.

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