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Celtic only choice for Connell despite English interest

The teenage midfielder is hopeful of earning a first-team place at the Scottish champions.

New Celtic signing Luca Connell says he had several offers from clubs in England this summer but he admits there was only one choice once he knew the Scottish champions were interested.

The Liverpool-born midfielder, who was selected for the recent Republic of Ireland squad, is now confident he can become a mainstay in Neil Lennon's starting 11.

The 18-year-old former Bolton star said: "It was only a few weeks before I actually signed that I got the call and when a Champions League club want to sign you it's not something you can just ignore. 

"So I spoke to my agent and got things sorted and I'm made up that I could sign for them.

"There was quite a few clubs interested in me to be honest but I always thought that this was the club for me and to be able to play in front of the massive crowd is really a dream come true."

The teenager, who can also play in left-midfield and left-back, believes the Scottish league is of a higher standard than many down south give it credit for.

And now that he has trained with his new team-mates he is certain that it is a step up in quality from the English Championship.

He said: "Everyone plays the Scottish league down as if it's not a high standard but I can tell you now it is, and now that I have trained I can tell how high a standard it is.

New recruit: Connell hopeful of first-team chance.
New recruit: Connell hopeful of first-team chance. SNS

"It's a massive club and playing in the Champions League you don't get that at most clubs, so it's definitely a step up for me and I'm looking forward to the challenge ahead."

And with a domestic quadruple treble to compete for along with a potential European run the youngster is hoping to get his chance to impress his new manager.

He said: "I want to work hard and challenge for my place as well. I'm sure there will be a lot if opportunities. 

"There could be potentially 70 competitive games and the same 11 can't play that amount of games.

"I'm hoping I can make the step up and impress here at Celtic.

"There are plenty of players here and every single one is good, but there will be chances and it's up to me to take them.

"That's the message - if you work hard, train well, you'll get your chance. Then you must deal with the pressure that comes with that."

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