Celtic talent helps Airdrieonians to mega comeback; hopes for Parkhead contract extension

By David Walton

May 8, 2022

Jonathan Afolabi helped Airdrieonians come back from 3-0 down in the Championship playoff semi-finals before admitting that he hopes it helps him bag a Celtic contract extension.

Afolabi is currently out on loan with the third-tier club after spending the first half of the campaign with Ayr United in the Championship. The Republic of Ireland under-21 cap has struggled for starts with Airdrie having only been in the XI on 3 occasions.

However, he made a colossal impact against Montrose yesterday after being thrown on with his side 3-0 down in the tie. Afolabi notched a goal and 3 assists as he helped lead Airdrieonians into the final with a 6-5 aggregate win after extra-time. They’ll now face Queen’s Park over the next week in a bid to gain promotion to the second tier.

Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Afterward, Afolabi will be out of contract unless Celtic trigger the option of an extra year. And the player has admitted that’s something he’s hoping for when he returns to Lennoxtown.

As quoted by the Daily Record, Afolabi said: “Celtic haven’t said anything yet, but they have the option to extend it next season. Hopefully moments like this can help that, that’s the only thing I can say at the moment.

“I don’t have a clue what will happen. I haven’t been thinking about next season yet. I’m just concentrating on Airdrie and we’ll see where I go after that.”

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Jonathan Afolabi hoping for Celtic contract extension as loan spell nears its end

Afolabi has certainly gotten himself some good press with his performance against Montrose yesterday. And should he shine against Queen’s Park over the next week, you have to imagine it’ll give his stock a timely boost ahead of the summer.

Whether Celtic give him the contract extension he’s after remains to be seen. However, if we’re being realistic, it’s difficult to see the first-team path open to Afolabi in the long-term.

The Irishman is now 22 years of age. He can no longer be called a young gun and he’s now at an age where first-team football on a regular basis is absolutely essential. Coming back to Lennoxtown and being out in the cold is absolutely useless for him.

Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

If he did sign on for another year, it would likely lead to him making another loan move regardless. But the striker hasn’t made the most of his spells away since arriving at Parkhead. His time with Dundee and Ayr were unspectacular whilst Covid robbed him of a productive period at Dunfermline.

Building on what he did yesterday is absolutely key for him. He can firmly boost his profile by making an impact against the Spiders and that’s the only thing that’ll be on his mind at the moment.

But whether it’ll lead to an extension at Celtic? It’s difficult to know whether it would be enough.

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