Sky Bet League One side Walsall have completed the signing of Celtic centre back Eoghan O’Connell. Subject to international clearance, he makes the move to the Saddlers on loan for the remainder of the campaign. The club are believed to have beaten off big competition to bring the young talent to the Bank’s Stadium.

The 21-year-old has made seven appearances in the first team under Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers this season. the obvious highlight was playing at the Nou Camp in a Champions League Group Stage match, which they unfortunately lost 7-0. He also appeared in the qualification matches against Astana and Hapoel Beer Sheva.

O’Connell now heads out in search of regular first team football before he’ll return to Celtic Park to challenge for a place in the team. The former Oldham Athletic loanee admits that he is looking forward to the challenge and cannot wait to play,

“I’m really looking forward to getting started. I heard about the interest last week and it took perhaps a little longer to get done than we would have hoped.
“I spoke to the manager and he was really keen for me to come down, and as soon as I’d spoken to him, I was really excited to come here and be a part of it.
“I played a few games for Celtic at the start of the year but I’ve not played as much recently and I wanted to get out and play. 
“This opportunity came up and I’m really excited about it. I’m looking forward to working with the gaffer and I’ll try my best for Walsall.”
Manager Jon Whitney expressed his delight at signing a player he has admired for a long time and admitted that many English and Scottish clubs were also in the running to snap him up,
“Eoghan is a target we’ve been tracking for a few weeks now and we’ve been trying to get the deal done. 
“He’s highly sought after and we’ve had to fight off some competition from clubs in England and the Scottish Premier League.
“He’s played in the Champions League and Brendan [Rodgers] spoke highly of him so he’ll be a really good addition to the group and from our profiling and referencing he seems to have a very good character as well which is important.”
O’Connell, who will wear the number 32 shirt, is in line to make his debut for his new club this weekend when league leaders Sheffield United are the visitors to the West Midlands.

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I currently work as a Championship Research Analyst for Onside Analysis Ltd. In this role I provide match previews and reviews for every Championship game. I also delve into matches from all across the globe, gaining an insight into football from different leagues in different countries. I came into this role shortly after graduating from The University of Hull after studying BSc Sports Coaching & Performance. I am a Lincoln City fan and thankfully they're back in The72!!