By Richard Parks
Celtic fans have taken to Twitter to express their delight after the club signed goalkeeper Liam Hughes from Irish top-flight club Dungannon Swifts.
The Scottish giants revealed on their official academy Twitter account on Tuesday night that they have snapped up the shot-stopper, 16, from the Northern Ireland Premiership outfit.
Academy Staff and players are delighted to welcome goalkeeper Liam on his recent signing from Dungannon Swifts.
At 16 Liam has already played in Dungannon’s first team and represented N Ireland at U17 level. A great addition to our squad. ???? pic.twitter.com/oGr3RYB3V1
— Celtic FC Academy (@CelticFCAcademy) February 20, 2018
Teenager Hughes only joined Dungannon last summer but has made such rapid progress that terms have been agreed for him to join the Scottish champions and link up with their academy.
Celtic fans have taken to social media to hail the arrival of young keeper Hughes, who arrives in Glasgow with a blossoming reputation after his precocious development.
Here is a selection of their messages on Twitter:
Congratulations Liam on joining the best club in the world. Best of Luck ????????
— Jody Little (@JlittleJody) February 20, 2018
Love how his da is in complete disbelief… ???? pic.twitter.com/KA3fzA1XIX
— Gastro Celtic (@Gastro_Celtic) February 21, 2018
What a talent ….???????????????? goodluck Liam ????
— andy coleman (@andycoleman8) February 21, 2018
Good lad Liam….well done !
— Sanfrancelt (@Stephen39930173) February 21, 2018
Congratulations Liam. No doubt your family must be very proud of you – best wishes from all at St. Marys YCFC
— St.Mary’s F.C. (@StMarysFC1) February 20, 2018
Looks like another one for the republic thank god????????????
— jeremiah O’ Donovan Rossa (@Michael05307363) February 21, 2018
Congratulations Liam never In doubt always believed you were the best in the land well deserved
— Eamon Ferris (@eamon_ferris) February 20, 2018
On you go son!!
— Mick McLean (@MickMcL18) February 20, 2018
The youngster has already played in the first team of Dungannon Swifts, who are eighth in the Northern Ireland Premiership, and has also represented Northern Ireland at Under-17 level.
Hughes will be hoping to follow the progress of fellow Irishman Conor Hazard, who has been Celtic’s third choice keeper and is currently out on loan at Falkirk.
Hazard joined Celtic from Cliftonville in 2014 and has worked his way through the ranks to the point where he signed a four-year contract last September.
Football Insider verdict:
Celtic have a long history of making full use of the Irish market and luring top talents across the water. They will hope that highly rated Hughes can make the same progress as Hazard, who has come on in leaps and bounds since joining four years ago. It will not have escaped the notice of either keeper that there is a long-term vacancy in the Celtic first team, too, with Craig Gordon and Dorus De Vries both at the veteran stages of their careers.
In other Celtic transfer news, the plug has been pulled at the last minute on the Hoops loaning a left-sided player.