Lee O'Connor explains why he left Manchester United for Celtic

Neil Lennon, Interim manager of Celtic looks on ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on March 31, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

O'Connor apparently had a big future at Premier League giants Manchester United - now he's trying to make a name for himself with the Scottish champions.

Lee O'Connor of Manchester United U23s in action during the Premier League 2 match between Manchester United U23s and West Ham United U23s at Old Trafford on August 30, 2019 in Manchester,...

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.

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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.

YEREVAN , ARMENIA - 23 July 2019; Lee O'Connor during a Republic of Ireland training session at the FFA Technical Centre ahead of their semi-final game of the 2019 UEFA European U19...

“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.

Lee O'Connor of Manchester United U23s in action during the PL2 match between Manchester Unietd U23s and Fulham U23s at Leigh Sports Village on January 11, 2019 in Leigh, Greater...

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