Johnny Kenny on how Ange Postecoglou sold him on his Celtic vision

By Euan Davidson

January 20, 2022

Johnny Kenny has explained what Ange Postecoglou wants from his Celtic side, and how the young Irish striker can eventually fit into his vision.

Kenny, a star in the League of Ireland with Sligo Rovers in 2021, was a long-term Celtic target. Ange Postecoglou confirmed he’d had scouts in Ireland watching the Irish youth international for months. After an interview with Irish football channel LOI FAN TV, the reasons for Kenny’s attraction to Postecoglou’s vision were put in more detail.

A rambunctious, pressing forward, Kenny described Postecoglou as “key” to him signing for Celtic, and the encouraging signs he saw from the Hoops boss before joining the Bhoys this month.

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Speaking to LOI FAN TV, Kenny said: “The manager was key to be fair.

“If you just look back on the last few months, he’s been breeding in the young players into the team. That’s really what I wanted to see.

“The way he wants to play, he wants to get after defenders up high, he wants to press. He wants it into feet, he just wants pure energy.

“That’s what I think my game is, pressing defenders and all that. That’s how he wants to play so I think that fitted [me] best.”

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Johnny Kenny sounds like part of the Celtic plan under Ange Postecoglou, even if not right away

Johnny Kenny remains an interesting signing from Ange Postecoglou. Tactically, he sounds as if he fits the Ange mould at Celtic more than Leigh Griffiths would have. Or indeed Albian Ajeti, who’s not had too much of a look-in.

It seems more likely that Kenny will be in the B Team at first. However, if Ajeti is moved on at some stage soon, it would put Kenny up in the pecking order for minutes at Celtic. Given his raw attributes, and the impassioned pitch made by Ange Postecoglou, training with the first team sounds likely, even if his minutes don’t necessarily reflect that.

As for Kenny himself? He seems like a class act. Whether he’s congratulating the school where he developed his game, or lauding the impact of Liam Scales, he sounds utterly respectful of Celtic and everywhere he’s been prior.

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That down-to-earth, workmanlike attitude will have impressed the Celtic manager. We hear this trotted out a lot for various clubs, but it seems true that there’s no ego allowed at Lennoxtown. If Kenny had ideas above his station, it would’ve been supremely unlikely that Postecoglou would’ve taken him on.

Kenny is something of an interesting sub-plot in and of himself for the second half of the season. With County Sligo backing him to the hilt, there’ll no doubt be particular interest into how he gets on at Celtic.

On paper, he sounds an ideal fit.

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