Celtic target Bosun Lawal: the Irish youngster tipped for stardom

By Euan Davidson

July 15, 2021

Celtic are continuing to build for the future, and Bosun Lawal looks like he could be on his way to the club.

Two days ago, the Watford Observer claimed that the Bhoys were about to part with a £150,000 compensation fee for the Watford youngster. Glasgow Times reported on rumours that he’d been spotted outside Paradise to agree a deal.

But who is the potential Celtic signing, and what can he bring to the club?

18-year-old Lawal began his career at St Kevin’s Boys FC in Dublin, before being snapped up by Watford in 2019. Despite arriving from relative obscurity, the midfielder impressed in the Premier League club’s Academy set-up.

In May, he was named as Watford’s Academy Player of the Season [WFC]. Upon receiving the accolade, Lawal said:

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“I came here from Ireland and wanted to show what I can do, to show my talent and to win this award with the quality we have in the academy is a surreal moment.

“My family will be very proud as they have sacrificed a lot for me. I’ve enjoyed this season a lot. Everything has gone well and the lads have performed well. Captaining the team at St James’ Park was the highlight and now I just want to keep going, keep showing what I can do for the 23s and then get an opportunity with the first team.”

However, that first-team opportunity clearly wasn’t a guarantee. Lawal rejected a new deal from the London club, according to The Athletic’s Watford correspondent Adam Leventhal.

Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

What can Bosun Lawal bring to Celtic?

So, his pedigree is well-established. What do his teammates at Watford think of him?

Club legend Troy Deeney is clearly impressed by the Irish starlet. He told Watford FC’s in-house press:

“I saw him against Newcastle and I thought he did well, he was captain that day. About three or four days later he played against Sheffield United and I was there and we stood and watched him.

“He’s got a little bit of Doucoure about him. He can go past somebody effortlessly and he’s got a big long stride. I thought he did really well. And again, three or four days after playing in the 23s he plays another 90 minutes and it was effortless to him.

“There’s not many young players who catch your eye and you go ‘oh he’s going to have a career’, but he certainly does that.”

A rangy, box-to-box presence, it isn’t clear whether Lawal is a B Team or First Team target. Surely, if he’s rejecting a deal at Watford as reported, then the Bhoys have a better offer waiting for him.

With the addition of Liam Shaw, Celtic have strengthened in defensive midfield. Ismaila Soro is the stand out in terms of a first-team DM, with Nir Bitton capable of playing there, too.

At Celtic, there seems to be a focus on young talents with physical presence, who can stride with the ball confidently. Judging by Shaw’s performances so far, descriptions of Lawal indicate he’s a similar kind of player.

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Potentially very good business for Celtic

Fine, we ought not to be dazzled by a player’s prowess at youth level in England. Lee O’Connor and Luca Connell, signed from Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers respectively, were highly hyped products of Academies from down south.

In Connell’s case, he even made a spate of appearances for Bolton’s first team. However, he, like O’Connor, hasn’t quite broken into the main squad at Celtic as of yet.

This is where the B Team comes in as a vital juncture between the Academy and being a star at Celtic. Lawal may find that his initial opportunities at Celtic are within the Scottish Lowland Football League.

He comes highly recommended, and has already taken strides in his development. His willingness to move to London at such a young age indicates he has no problems adapting to new surroundings.

Will Celtic get this deal done today? It’s beginning to look more likely.

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