Celtic talent Jonathan Afolabi one tie away from promotion with Dundee

By David Walton

May 16, 2021

Celtic youngster Jonathan Afolabi is now only one tie away from securing promotion with Dundee to the Premiership.

Afolabi is currently at Dens on a season-long loan deal from Celtic Park and has had mixed fortunes. The youngster has made 22 appearances for the Championship club, but has only netted four goals and has recently been dropped.

In Dundee’s last four matches, he hasn’t played a part. His current run without an appearance comes after some substitute appearances in which he didn’t make enough of an impression [Transfermarkt].

However, he has a big opportunity to potentially put himself in the history books at Dens Park over the next eight days. That’s because Dundee have qualified for the Scottish Premiership playoff final. Their opponents will be confirmed today when the bottom six of the Premiership play their final round of fixtures. Dundee can either face any one of Ross County, Kilmarnock, and Hamilton.

Afolabi’s Dundee managed to overcome Raith Rovers 3-1 on aggregate in the semi-finals. That’s left them with a huge two-legged Premiership shootout that will be broadcast on Sky Sports. The first leg will take place on Thursday, May 20th at 20:15 on Sky Sports Football. That will be followed up by the return leg on May 24th at 19:45.

Jonathan Afolabi hasn’t had it all his own way at Dundee

When Afolabi was sent to Dundee, it looked a decent move on paper. It seemed as though he was finally going to a place where he would be considered first choice and be able to bag a regular run of minutes under his belt.

That hasn’t happened. Despite starting off with a few starting XI appearances, he’s quickly had to deal with cameo outings. Dundee boss James McPake has instead been looking at the likes of Jason Cummings, Alex Jakubiak, and Osman Sow to lead the line.

But that doesn’t mean Afolabi hasn’t been given opportunities. Outside of the last four matches, he was a regular from the bench and will be disappointed with his goal return. He would’ve expected more in the Championship this season.

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

At 21, it’s important he continues to show building blocks being put in place for his development. His two most recent loans with Dundee and Dunfermline haven’t seen him develop the way we all hoped he would.

However, he now has a glorious chance to put himself in the shop window ahead of the summer. Starring, albeit likely from the bench, in front of the Sky cameras in such a big occasion is exactly the kind of spotlight he needs.

Hopefully, he can take out a season’s worth of frustration on whoever Dundee come up against later this week.

In other news, one Celtic player couldn’t believe what they experienced at Parkhead this week.