'I'm really pleased' - Portsmouth, Derby and QPR sweat on Celtic decision after transfer target makes impression on Brendan Rodgers

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Pompey target Bosun Lawal has given Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers much to contemplate ahead of the new Scottish Premiership season.

The 21-year-old earned plenty of plaudits after featuring for the Hoops in their opening pre-season friendly against Ayr United on Friday night.

Lawal, who can play in the centre of defence or midfield, excelled as he was introduced to the action in the second half. And Rodgers was among those who left Somerset Park impressed with what he saw from the Republic of Ireland under-21 international, who featured 46 times on loan for Fleetwood last term.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Pompey were linked with a loan move for Lawal at the start of the summer, alongside fellow League One promotion winners Derby and Championship rivals QPR. Birmingham and Fortuna Sittard have also since been linked. However, the Blues knew any interest would not be considered until after the reigning Scottish Premiership champions returned to pre-season and began in earnest their preparations for the 2024-25 campaign.

Celtic are back in pre-season friendly action on Wednesday as they take on Queens Park, with Rodgers expected to once again run the rule of several of the Parkhead side’s emerging talent.

Lawal fits into that category. Although the Northern Irishman has clearly already been forming a judgement on what the powerful utility man could offer his senior ranks next season - and that might come as blow to the Blues.

Speaking after the Ayr game, the Celtic boss said: ‘I really like Bosun, he’s a player who clearly has a lot of physical attributes.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

‘But what he has as well is a lot of football ability. You go out on loan, you can see he has that experience, that power and quality to break through and we have seen that this evening.

‘I am really pleased for him. Younger players to get that chance to come in and play, as well as developing their fitness, it’s shown they have the personality to come in and play for Celtic. 

‘And that’s always important for me with young players, that they have no fear, and can go and show that.’

Celtic head to America later this month for a series of games, with fixtures against DC United (July 21), Manchester City (July 24) and Chelsea (July 27) lined up, before they face Kilmarnock in their season opener on August 4. Lawal will, no doubt, be keen to be involved in such high-profile fixtures. However, the Glasgow giants will have all their senior players back by then as final preparations for their title defence are put in place.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Pompey remain keen to strengthen their ranks ahead of their Championship return, with five new players arriving to date at Fratton Park. Both centre-back and midfield are areas John Mousinho is still keen to reinforce - positions Lawal excelled in last season for the Cod Army.

He made 46 appearances for the now League Two outfit last term. One of those was a standout display in Fleetwood’s 1-0 loss to Pompey side in January, where Charlie Adam’s side and Lawal in particular gave the Blues problems in the second half.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.