"Could play anywhere"; Celtic youngster on loan earns special praise, tipped for huge future

By John McGinley

March 12, 2021

Irish Celtic youngster Lee O’Connor has earned some special praise from one of his compatriots and Tranmere Rovers teammates this week.

Veteran goalkeeper Joe Murphy has made hundreds of appearances in the English Football League and has won two caps with the Republic of Ireland.

Training with O’Connor this season at Rovers, Murphy reckons O’Connor has a huge future ahead of him.

The duo are currently preparing for a Football League Trophy final at Wembley against Sunderland this weekend, drawing some media coverage from their homeland.

Murphy spoke in glowing terms of O’Connor, telling The42.ie: “Lee is an excellent, excellent player. He’s not a League Two player, Lee is like a Championship footballer. He’s clever, he’s really cool on the ball, very calm, and he’s like that as a lad too – very laid-back.

“He’s been a bit unlucky. He was in the team, playing really well, then he got a little niggle, and I think he had to self-isolate [for Covid-19 reasons] then as well for a little while.

“That took him out of the team at a time when we were starting to do well. He played the last two games of this competition in a holding midfield role, and he was excellent.

“Lee is the sort of player who could play anywhere, and he’d do a great job. He’s got a really big future, and he’s a great lad. Whether it’s at Celtic or somewhere else, hopefully, he can push on and get some more games under his belt.”

Lee O’Connor well-prepared for Celtic return

The loan to League Two this season should be seen as a big success. O’Connor is a regular in a team pushing for promotion and even has a confidence-boosting cup run under his belt.

If his team can go to Wembley and pick up silverware, it’d be a fantastic experience for the young defender.

O’Connor has played 30 times for his loan club this season, primarily as a right-back. However, as noted above, he’s been utilised as a defensive midfielder during this current cup run, to great effect.

Celtic youngster Lee O’Connor / (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

The former Man United youth is now in a fantastic position to come back and compete for first-team places at the Bhoys this summer.

He could be one of the young players set to thrive at Celtic Park under a new manager.

In other news, Billy Stark “can’t speak highly enough” of promising Celtic transfer target.