Celtic youngster Jonathan Afolabi in action in huge Sky Sports match tonight

By David Walton

May 20, 2021

Celtic starlet Jonathan Afolabi will be part of Dundee’s clash against Kilmarnock live in front of the Sky Sports cameras tonight.

The Premiership promotion playoff first-leg will indeed take place tonight at Dens Park. Afolabi is currently on loan with the Championship side, and has netted four goals in 22 appearances this term [Transfermarkt].

And Celtic fans could catch a glimpse of him when Dundee take on Killie in this evening’s clash. The game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Football tonight, with an 8:15 PM kickoff time.

The Republic of Ireland under-21 international could certainly do with being the star of the show over the two legs as well. Things haven’t gone to plan for him this season, as he’s lost his place in Dundee’s starting XI and has had to make do with substitute appearances.

Afolabi hasn’t played a part in any of Dundee’s last four matches. However, given how smoothly their playoff semi-final against Raith Rovers went, there was no need for the Irishman to come on.

Celtic youngster Jonathan Afolabi can make a name for himself in front of the Sky Sports cameras

When Celtic signed Afolabi from Southampton in 2019, big things were expected of him. In fact, Neil Lennon, the manager at the time, even went so far as to say that he was “on the cusp” of the first-team [Sky Sports].

But so far Afolabi hasn’t come anywhere near close to realising that potential. He’s almost been at the club for two years, but still doesn’t have a run of senior games under his belt. When his loan spell with Dunfermline was cut short last summer, another Championship move always looked inevitable.

However, it hasn’t worked out this term either. He’s been given plenty of opportunities to shine by The Dark Blues, but he hasn’t made the most of it. Whether it be down to a lack of quality, confidence, or composure – Afolabi had to make more of it this season.

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

Next term, another loan move looks likely. He still has two years left of his four-year contract that he signed two years ago. But the truth is, at 21, Afolabi needs to start showing some genuine development. He hasn’t done that this season.

Unfortunately, when it comes to replacing our outgoing strikers for next season, nobody is talking about the Irishman. There’s a reason for that and it’s an obvious one. He has to start ensuring the spotlight is back on him, starting tonight.

A positive performance, even if it is from the bench, is essential. Following it up with another in the second leg on Monday and he could have plenty of options away from Parkhead next season. If anyone needs a performance tonight, it’s him.

In other news, Celtic fans are encouraging the club to finalise an agreement and kickstart our rebuild.