Irish club boss addresses Celtic-linked striker's future after he signs new contract

By David Walton

November 7, 2021

Sligo Rovers manager Liam Buckley has been discussing reported Celtic target Johnny Kenny.

Kenny notched his 10th goal of the season to help Sligo secure European football next season. It was the perfect way for the 18-year-old to celebrate the new 3-year deal he penned last week.

Back in the summer, Celtic were said to be monitoring the striker’s progress ahead of a potential January switch [Irish Independent]. However, the new deal signed by Kenny suggests he has his eyes set on staying with his current club for the time being.

Photo By David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Sligo boss Buckley, however, was happy to talk up his prodigy’s potential to achieve greater things. As quoted by the Irish Sun, the League of Ireland manager said: “He’ll definitely have a career in our league. Can he go further? Yeah, he has the ability. He’ll bag his fair share of goals. If we have him for three years, fantastic.

“Normally we get crap transfer fees here but that’s another day’s work.

“If he gets that opportunity, I’ve no doubt he’ll be a success.”

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Johnny Kenny to Celtic looks like a deal that can wait for now

Kenny is in the process of building up his reputation in his homeland for now. And it’s difficult to argue that signing the new deal was the best thing he could’ve done for his career prospects.

Remember, this is a player who only really broke through at Sligo last year. With only 33 senior appearances and 11 goals to his name throughout his entire career, this is just the start [Transfermarkt].

It’s actually a touch refreshing to see this kind of commitment from a young Irish talent. Too often we see players head for the bright lights of Celtic Park or the EPL far too early. Without the proper first-team experience necessary to integrate as effectively as they need to. Kenny’s commitment to Sligo is a promising sign of maturity.

Photo By Ben McShane/Sportsfile via Getty Images

When Celtic feel the time is right, a move will surely be made. When it is, we won’t be splashing much out on the player. As Buckley says, League of Ireland clubs simply can’t demand high transfer fees for their top talents. It’s a shame, but it’s the nature of the beast.

Celtic managed to sign Liam Scales from Shamrock Rovers in August for a reported €600k [£510k] [The Scotsman]. He was another of Ireland’s top young prospects, and we hardly had to break the bank. Kenny will be the same when the time comes.

At the very least, Sligo know that when they do decide to sell that they’ll get some sort of fee for the player. Here’s hoping he impresses Celtic enough to earn that coveted Parkhead call.

In other news, Joe Hart thanks Celtic fans in brilliant Instagram post as he provides class highlight reel