Celtic youngster Jonathan Afolabi made an instant impact off the bench for loan club Dundee, scored in a 3-0 win for The Dee in an away encounter at divisional rivals Ayr United [Sportsmole].

Impressively, the Irish-Under-21 international scored just six minutes after entering the fray which will please Hoops supporters.

In 19 appearances, the former Southampton youth has managed to register four goals in his spell on Tayside [Transfermarkt].  This statistic may look underwhelming on first glance; however, the Dublin-born hitman has been restricted to featuring mainly as a substitute this season.

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He has only started four games for the club, limiting the scope of influence Afolabi has been able to exert on proceedings [Transfermarkt]. His goal last night was his first club goal in three months.

In spite of this, playing football in a senior environment will undoubtedly benefit the Irishman ahead of his return to Celtic in the summer.

Highly rated by chiefs at Lennoxtown, exposure to first-team football has to be paramount to his development moving forward. Currently joint second in the Scottish Championship, the pressure of challenging for promotion will stand him in good stead to handle the rigours of life at Celtic.

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Could Jonathan Afolabi break through at Celtic in 2021/22?

In a case such as the Celts’, a new manager could completely alter the landscape of the club.

Celtic are set to face several exits in the near future, as they look to rebuild for 2021/22. Afolabi retains a wide-ranging set of capabilities that could benefit the Hoops long-term.

Celtic loanee Jonathan Afolabi

Celtic loanee Jonathan Afolabi celebrates a Dundee goal / (Photo by Ross Parker/SNS Group via Getty Images)

He possesses a good turn of pace, finishing ability and an intelligent mobility that allows him to link the play.

Positionally, the Hoops are set to lose Odsonne Edouard, whilst questions over Leigh Griffiths’ and Patryk Klimala’s futures persist.

Could this pave the way for Afolabi to stake a first-string claim come pre-season next season? A good pre-season and there’s no reason for it not to.

In other news, a report has provided an updated timeline on Eddie Howe to Celtic.

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