Celtic youth goalkeeper Tobi Oluwayemi gets U19 England call-up

By Euan Davidson

May 21, 2021

Celtic youth goalkeeper Tobi Oluwayemi has been called up to the England U19s.

The England coach Ian Foster has also called up new Watford signing Kwadwo Baah, who had been linked with Celtic this season. The former Rochdale man was said to have been on Celtic’s radar after a move to Manchester City collapsed.

Oluwayemi joined Celtic having risen through the Tottenham Hotspur academy [Daily Record]. His older brother Joshua, also a goalkeeper, is still in London with Spurs’ U23 side. The Celtic Academy goalkeeper claims to have been encouraged by Karamoko Dembele to make the move [Celtic FC]. Both players have caps for England at youth level.

There’s real hope for Oluwayemi in the Celtic Academy. After Liam Hughes’ departure for Liverpool [Rousing the Kop], and with speculation around the future of Vincent Angelini, Oluwayemi surely finds himself top of the queue in terms of youth goalkeepers.

Conor Hazard set an excellent example this season, having come through the Academy. During something of a goalkeeping crisis, the Irish goalkeeper stepped up to help Celtic to a Quadruple Treble. He also featured in the Europa League, as Celtic beat potential Ligue 1 champions Lille 3-2.

Tobi Oluwayemi saves a penalty for England U17s / (Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Celtic Academy players are getting international recognition

Given the prowess of academies in England, this is something of a result for Celtic. It’s a very good sign that playing in Scotland isn’t necessarily a blockade for young English players with international ambitions.

Oluwayemi joins some interesting names, including Will Fish and Jed Ward, as well as Manchester United striker Joe Hugill.

Elsewhere, Leo Hjelde has been given a nod for Norway’s U18s. After some impressive performances on loan at Ross County [NTOF], the young defender has earned comparisons with Virgil van Dijk, and is keen to make an impact in the first-team next season.

He may well get his opportunity; Shane Duffy has left, Kris Ajer’s future is in doubt and Christopher Jullien is still injured. Provided Celtic don’t bring in 2 or 3 centre-backs, it’s not hard to imagine Hjelde being at least within touching distance. Oluwayemi will also be eyeing the goalkeeping situation closely, given Barkas’ tough season, and the unconvincing displays of Scott Bain.

It’s testament to the work being done at Academy level. With Adam Montgomery and Karamoko Dembele making squads under John Kennedy, and several excellent talents returning from loan, there’s certainly competition for places.

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