Understudy role could be the ideal next step for Celtic debutant Bosun Lawal

By Lewis Laird

January 23, 2023

Celtic youngster Bosun Lawal became the latest academy player to make his Hoops debut after coming off the bench against Greenock Morton on Saturday.

The 19-year-old only joined the club in the summer of 2021. However, Lawal has impressed during his 18 months at Parkhead, featuring for the Celtic B side.

The Irishman has picked up regular minutes in the Lowland League, working under coaches such as Tommy McIntyre, Darren O’Dea and Stephen McManus.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Lawal has gone on to spend large spells training amongst Ange Postecoglou’s first team, alongside fellow countryman and B side teammate Rocco Vata.

Since the return from the World Cup break, the defender has also been part of two match-day squads in the Scottish Premiership but remained on the bench.

However, his debut appearance for the Hoops first team finally came on Saturday afternoon as the talented youngster came off the bench vs Greenock Morton.

It may only have been a short cameo, but it was a well-deserved step in the right direction after Lawal’s hard work in the academy and first team.

From here, it is about building upon making your debut for the club, and the next steps in the player’s development could prove to be crucial.

So, what is the best next move for Celtic to make to continue Lawal’s rise?

Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Could Bosun Lawal play Celtic first-team understudy role next season?

Currently, Lawal has a number of first-team options ahead of him in the pecking order, with Cameron Carter-Vickers, Carl Starfelt, Yuki Kobayashi, Stephen Welsh and Mortiz Jenz all still at the club.

So as we head into the final week of the transfer window, it will be interesting to see whether Ange Postecoglou chooses to send the defender out on loan or if he remains as part of the first-team set-up.

In recent weeks, there has been some speculation regarding the future of Moritz Jenz and Stephen Welsh, which could potentially lead to Lawal playing an understudy role.

Should both players depart at some stage in the coming few months, it would leave Lawal as arguably the fifth-choice central defender.

Carter-Vickers, Starfelt and Kobayashi are all seen as the first-choice options, whilst Tomoki Iwata is also capable of playing as a central defender as an emergency.

Photo by Steve Christo – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

So it may be the ideal role for Bosun Lawal to play as one of the back options should any issues arise for the above-mentioned players.

More minutes for the first team would also be a step in the right direction, should the Ireland under-19 international continue his hard work in training.

Realistically, the club should be aiming to use this sort of understudy role to develop the up-and-coming talent at Parkhead. So, in my opinion, it would be perfect for Lawal going into next season.

Of course, there is a number of factors that would need to shift amongst the Celtic squad for Lawal to climb up the squad pecking order.

However, playing an understudy role going into next season would be an ideal step in continuing his development at the club.

In other news, Kyogo leaves SPFL defender with ‘head spinning’ after reaching Celtic goal landmark