Report: Irish youngster who trained with Celtic set to complete Liverpool move

By Euan Davidson

March 23, 2022

Celtic have been continually busy scouting Ireland, finding players like Liam Scales and Johnny Kenny, but exciting teenage talent Trent Kone-Doherty won’t be the next to wear the Hoops.

According to a report in the Irish Independent, Kone-Doherty had spent time training with Celtic, having shone with Paddy McCourt’s youth set-up at Derry City. However, the Hoops will miss out, with the report stating that Liverpool have come in with a tempting offer.

Capable of playing on either wing, Kone-Doherty has impressed at youth international level for Ireland. What’s more, he’s made it onto the bench at Derry City, despite being just 15. With plenty of young Irish players moving to ply their trade across the Irish sea, it had looked as though Celtic were in pole position for Kone-Doherty.

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However, the report says [Independent]: “Kone-Doherty has previously spent time training with Celtic but Liverpool have made an assertive move for his services with Derry in line for a six figure sum in compensation.”

According to the Derry Journal, the Reds have “pipped” Celtic for the Irish youth international’s signature.

Celtic have had a mixed record with recruiting talent from Ireland. Armstrong Okoflex was let go last summer, and is now thriving at West Ham United. Jonathan Afolabi is out on loan, at Airdrieonians. Barry Coffey, a hotly-tipped youngster from Eire, only has a contract at Celtic until the summer.

However, there have been successes. Republic of Ireland youth star Bosun Lawal is impressing in the Celtic B Team. So is Ben Wylie, who has youth international caps for Northern Ireland. Rocco Vata, born in Scotland but eligible for Ireland, has also made strides.

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Celtic will continue to look for Irish talent, even if Trent Kone-Doherty is headed for Liverpool

Truthfully, we don’t know yet how interested Celtic were in Kone-Doherty, nor how interested he was in joining Celtic. The Paddy McCourt link surely helps, but if Premier League clubs come calling, it’s difficult for us.

That said, the Hoops have been able to smartly recruit from Ireland very recently. Johnny Kenny has looked decent in B Team games, while Bosun Lawal is surely a star of the future. Liam Scales has been sporadically excellent for Celtic, having signed from Shamrock Rovers in the summer of 2021.

There are plenty more, such is the lure of Celtic and the history of developing Irish talent.

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Reportedly losing out to Liverpool again though, that stings. They’ve been a transfer nemesis of ours, whether it’s first-team possibilities like Ben Davies, or Celtic Academy talents like Liam Hughes and, potentially, Ben Doak.

Still, if you’re trying to secure the same talent as Champions League winners, it’s probably a good thing.

And with the connections and scouting Celtic have available to them in Ireland, we’ll unearth the next Robbie Keane or Damien Duff before long.

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