Academy star Daniel Kelly could be Celtic’s next big thing

There are currently six academy graduates currently involved in the Celtic first team, James Forrest (32 years of age), captain Callum McGregor (30 years of age), Anthony Ralston (25 years of age), Stephen Welsh (24 years of age), Rocco Vata (18 years and 330 days old) and finally Daniel Kelly (18 years and 162 days old).

The final name on that list, Daniel Kelly, looks to be the new academy hope with a serious chance of breaking into the Celtic starting eleven. Kelly made his debut off the bench in the 7-1 thrashing of Dundee last month after replacing captain Callum McGregor at half time, and the 18-year-old impressed throughout his 45-minute cameo as he managed to score on his Celtic debut.

The teenager has clearly made an impression on Brendan Rodgers, featuring in the last two matchday squads in a row whilst also being trusted off the bench over £2.5 million summer signing Odin Thiago Holm on both occasions.

28th February 2024 Celtic Park, Glasgow, Scotland Scottish Premiership Football, Celtic versus Dundee Daniel Kelly of Celtic shoots and scores for 7-0 in the 63rd minute PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK ActionPlus12613281 DavidxYoung

Kelly has been long talked about as one of the club’s most exciting academy prospects, even being linked to clubs such as Arsenal, Liverpool and Benfica prior to signing a three-year professional contract in 2022.
The Scottish u19 international has featured in all twelve UEFA Youth League games for the club over the past two seasons, even scoring twice in this year’s competition.

Kelly’s technical ability is unquestionable, and he is very much an attack-minded midfielder, often arriving late into the box and finishing well, with his goal against Dundee a clear example of this.The club have neglected many talented academy prospects over the past number of years, not helped by the development structures in Scotland nor the growing trend of bigger clubs poaching the best talent at the club but nonetheless, Celtic should be doing more to provide a pathway for its best academy talent.

Rodgers’ midfield has been stuttering recently, with Matt O’Riley unable to reproduce his excellent form of the first half of the season and Paulo Bernardo failing to kick on after his Glasgow Derby goal before the new year.
And now with news of the absence of Callum McGregor until at least after the international break, Rodgers could hand Kelly an opportunity from the start in the coming games.

With misfortune comes opportunity, and Daniel Kelly has the talent and potential to be deserving of such an opportunity.

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1 Comment

  1. Young Kelly seems to be the replacement for Turnbull within the squad currently imo?
    Already seen enough to suggest that Kelly has far better defensive qualities within his game, whereas Turnbull was fairly brutal in that regards for a midfield player?
    Has got great potential within him, and hopefully should be looking for a place within our CL squad for next season also?
    What’s also brilliant for ourselves, is starting to get homegrown players into a squad on actual playing ability, especially for European matches? Moreso,
    Than just making up numbers because they fill the 8 homegrown requirements for CL football.
    A step in the right direction hopefully from Kelly, especially within a season where far to many backwards steps have been taken to date imo?