Dunfermline boss Stevie Crawford praises Celtic striker Jonathan Afolabi ahead of Partick game

By David Walton

March 10, 2020

Dunfermline Athletic manager Stevie Crawford has hailed Celtic striker Jonathan Afolabi but has stated that he’s still looking to build up his match-fitness.

Despite signing for the Pars during the January transfer window, Afolabi only played one game until February 25th’s 2-1 loss to Inverness. Since then, however, he’s played in a further three matches and notched his first two goals in senior football (Transfermarkt).

Dunfermline’s promotion chances still look to be hanging by a thread however. They sit two points behind Dundee having played a game more. Afolabi, however, is coming into form on a personal level.

Celtic forward Jonathan Afolabi (Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

And speaking about the Celtic kid, Dunfermline boss Stevie Crawford said the following in comments published by Deadline News.

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“Jonathan will still be searching for match fitness, he came in, we had a couple of games and then we had a two or three-week break.

“He now finds himself leading the line. He uses his body well, he brings players into the game and he has managed to score two goals, so long may that continue. I can remember what it was like for myself being 17, 18, 19 years of age. You are ready and waiting to get in there and take that opportunity.”

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This is a positive update regarding Afolabi’s all-round game. The fact he isn’t just a goalscorer will give him the best chance of getting opportunities at Celtic in the future.

There will come a time when Celtic sell Odsonne Edouard and will be looking for a replacement. Whilst it’s way too early to say that Afolabi will be that direct replacement, his chances could increase at Parkhead if he has a successful loan spell behind him.

For now, he won’t be thinking about anything at Lennoxtown or Parkhead. His sole focus has to be on firing Dunfermline to the Premiership if possible.

Lee O’Connor awaits Afolabi tonight (Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

That takes us on to tonight. There’s a massively interesting clash on in the Championship between Dunfermline and Partick Thistle at Firhill. What makes it so interesting from a Celtic perspective? Afolabi and fellow loan Celt Lee O’Connor will be going head-to-head.

The two will also likely come into direct competition with each other. O’Connor will be part of the back-line looking to keep Afolabi quiet, and Partick will undoubtedly see him as the main attacking threat with Kevin Nisbet out.

It’s worth keeping an eye on to see who comes out on top. But as things stand, Afolabi is making the right impression early on.

Who’s going to win tonight’s battle of the Celts? Will Jonathan Afolabi have too much for Lee O’Connor and the Partick back-line? Or will it be the other way around? Let us know in the comments below.