McAvennie slams Celtic youngsters amid 'big animal' claim

Frank McAvennie insists the current crop of Celtic youngsters aren’t good enough to make the step up to the first team next season.

The former Celtic hitman, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, made some damning claims about the current group of Hoops youngsters.

This comes as Celtic loanee Jonathan Afolabi made an impressive cameo off the bench in Dundee FC’s 3-0 win over Ayr United, picking up a goal.

The Northern Ireland Under-21 has now scored four goals for Dundee in all competitions this season though he has been largely starved of starts in the Scottish Championship.

McAvennie claims Afolabi isn’t good enough to challenge for a first-team spot next season and neither are any of the other players in Celtic’s youth set up.

“I don’t think they’re good enough,” McAvennie told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs.

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“Some of them are going on loan and they’re doing well and scoring goals but the reality is when you’re at Celtic you have to be better than everyone else. 

“A lot of players will do well at other clubs but not quite do it at Celtic, some players can’t handle that step up. 

“I’ve seen good players coming up through the ranks but they just can’t take that step, then they go away and do it at other clubs. 

“Celtic is a big, powerful animal, a big machine and it takes a certain kind of player to be able to handle all of that.”

Afolabi joined Celtic in the summer of 2019 after leaving Southampton but is yet to make a first-team appearance.

He joined Dunfermline Athletic on loan in January 2020 but only scored two goals in six appearances before the season was curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In other news, Celtic are in talks to sign a striker with a six-figure fee in line to be paid.