Lee O’Connor has admitted to the Daily Record that he is hoping to make his senior Celtic debut sooner rather than later, adding that the chance of first-team football was the major reason behind his decision to leave Manchester United this summer.
The versatile defender was very highly rated at Old Trafford with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer expected to fast-track the Irishman into his plans during the 2019/20 season.
So Manchester United fans were far from happy when it emerged that O’Connor was on his way to Celtic in early September, the 19-year-old signing a four-year deal with The Hoops.
The Republic of Ireland U21 international has been playing for Celtic’s U23 side so far but he’s hopeful of catching the eye of manager Neil Lennon before too long, admitting that the pathway to the first-team was a deciding factor in his move north of the border.
“You want to get into the first team. That’s why I went to Celtic – it’s what I’m looking to do and hopefully I can do it,” O’Connor said.
“At the moment, I’m just looking to get a run of games (at underage level) and show them why they’ve got me there. Hopefully, the coaching staff will see and next pre-season, I can show the first-team manager that I’m capable enough to make the step.
“They put great faith in me. I’m very grateful for that, so I’m just looking to repay their faith now, get a good run of games and have a good performance level.”
The teenager is a centre-back by trade but he is also comfortable on both the right and the left of the defence with his versatility standing him in good stead as he looks to carve out a niche at Celtic.
Should an injury crisis occur, O’Connor could slot into any position across the back four.
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