Report: Celtic win race for high-potential striker

By Euan Davidson

January 3, 2022

Celtic are set to seal a deal for Irish striker Johnny Kenny, according to the Irish Independent.

Kenny had been previously linked with the Hoops, following a break-out season at Sligo Rovers [Irish Independent]. However, it appeared that Shaun Maloney and Hibernian had begun to sneak ahead of Celtic, even showing Kenny the sights and sounds of Easter Road.

However, after a flurry of activity and chatter in Ireland, it appears that Kenny has his mind made up, and that he’ll be heading to Celtic Park.

Photo By Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile via Getty Images

The report states that Kenny will sign for Celtic in the next few days, and the fee will be around €150,000 with potential add-ons.

Kenny burst onto the scene after scoring 11 goals for Sligo Rovers [Transfermarkt]. At just 18 years of age, he seems like a signing akin to Joey Dawson. That is, someone who can develop in the B Team, under Tommy McIntyre’s watchful eye.

Whether Hibs would have had him in the first-team now seems moot. And Kenny will join Liam Scales in arriving to Celtic from a League of Ireland team this season.

Scales has made an impression since joining the club, making 9 appearances and scoring once, setting up another for the Bhoys [Transfermarkt].

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For the Hoops, this seems as obvious a long-term signing as it gets. Kenny has shown very obvious potential for Sligo Rovers. With Celtic’s popularity in Ireland, the lure is there for players deemed worthy of joining the set-up at Lennoxtown.

Scales had to wait for his chance, but he now seems the firm second-choice to Greg Taylor at left-back. Given how far he seemed from the first-team at all until recently, that’s real progress.

Skilful and with an impressive range of shooting, Kenny will be cognisant that his route to the first-team is barred by some real quality. However, learning from the likes of Daizen Maeda, Kyogo Furuhashi and Giorgos Giakoumakis can only put him in good stead.

Photo By Ben McShane/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Joey Dawson recently made his first-team debut, nearly scoring against St Johnstone in a comfortable win. Coming on for Kyogo, Dawson was solid, linking up play effectively and having a couple of decent chances.

The path will be similar for Kenny. He’ll need to show real patience and desire to work his way into Ange Postecoglou’s plans. However, with his already decent CV, the odds are not against him.

It’s good business from Celtic once more.

Read more: Report: Celtic foes Bodo/Glimt set to sell yet another player; this time to Scottish side