Report: Big future for Celtic youngster approved by John Kennedy and Joe Hart

By Euan Davidson

November 19, 2021

According to a report in The Athletic, there’s an exciting future ahead for Celtic youngster Tobi Oluwayemi, who is impressing across the board.

The England youth international was named in Ange Postecoglou’s match-day squad against Ferencvaros in Hungary. With a number of sterling displays for the B Team, Oluwayemi is winning approval from key Celtic staff and players, the Athletic states.

Although Darren O’Dea and Tommy McIntyre’s approval of Oluwayemi is well-known, he’s also showing signs of vast improvement. Goalkeeping coaches Stevie Woods and Colin Meldrum are working with him closely.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Joe Hart is primed to mentor his countryman, with Oluwayemi lined up to replace him long-term.

It’s exciting stuff. Brought in from the Tottenham Hotspur Academy in 2019 [Transfermarkt], is said to be well-liked for both Celtic and England. He was in goals for the England U19s win over Andorra U19s on the 10th of November [UEFA].

The report states that Oluwayemi was only sporadically involved in first-team training under Neil Lennon. However, John Kennedy is a fan of his distribution and shot-stopping. When Kennedy was placed in interim charge of the first-team, the young Englishman became more of a fixture.

What this means for the likes of Vasilis Barkas and Scott Bain, however, is less clear. If Oluwayemi is the one with momentum behind Joe Hart, it seems wasteful to keep the 27-year-old and 29-year-old waiting for opportunities.

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67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

Celtic hoping youngster Tobi Oluwayemi, liked by Joe Hart, John Kennedy and Stevie Woods, can fulfil undoubted potential

As unpalatable as it might seem to Scottish and Irish audiences, the England national set-up is very, very good these days. I know, I’m sorry.

But they’ve got their youth groups and first-team playing a consistent brand of football. A national training centre is already paying dividends, and the standard across groups is high.

In this case, that’s good for Celtic. Because, the point is, you don’t play for the England U19s these days unless you’re a legitimate talent. Tobi Oluwayemi, then, is indeed a legitimate talent.

Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images

For sure, you can point to Oluwayemi’s progression as a success of the B Team. Celtic B Team have conceded just 13 goals this season [SLFL], comfortably the least in the entire league.

That’s a function of the defence in general, but it speaks to Oluwayemi’s proclivity for clean sheets. With Tommy McIntyre’s trust in him, and the approval of key figures in the first-team, there’s nothing to suggest Oluwayemi won’t be a Celtic star within a few years.

Joe Hart, good as he is, won’t be between the sticks forever. He was brought in for his experience, his calm under pressure and – crucially – his willingness to help develop talent.

You couldn’t really ask for a better mentor, if you’re a young goalkeeper at Celtic.

Exciting times head for Tobi Oluwayemi, then.

Read more: Ange Postecoglou addresses potential Celtic exits this January transfer window