Celtic confirm signing of Dublin-born prodigy Armstrong Okoflex from ArsenalSun, Sep 02 2018
Glasgow giants Celtic have confirmed the signing of former Republic of Ireland underage international Armstrong Okoflex from Arsenal.
The move was first noted by eagle-eyed Celtic fans and reported by extratime.ie back in June when an photograph of a display at Celtic Park was posted on Twitter.
The Dublin-born midfielder has spent the past five years in London with the Gunners but was persuaded north of the border by the prospect of working with Bhoys coach Brendan Rodgers.
The 16-year-old came through the ranks with Tolka Rovers and St Kevin's Boys before moving to London at the age of 11 to link up with the Arsenal academy.
He made seven appearance for the Gunners' under-18 side during the 2017/18 season before opting to pursue options elsewhere.
Okoflex, who is also eligible to represent Nigeria through his parentage, represented Ireland up to under-16 level before switching to England earlier this year.
His last appearance for Ireland came in October 2017, when he scored in a 2-0 win over Scotland to retain the Victory Shield for Paul Osam's side.
“It feels good for it to be all official,” Okoflex told Celtic's official website.
“This is a massive club and one that plays in Europe, while Celtic are also known for bringing young players through their Academy to their first team.
“I feel I have a chance to progress here and this is the right club for me at the moment. I had a meeting with Brendan Rodgers and he was very convincing.
“He’s a great manager with all the success he’s had at previous clubs and at Celtic, and he was one of the big factors in coming here.
“The manager told me about Raheem Sterling, how he was a young teenager at Liverpool and then he brought him up in pre-season and, because he was doing well and better than the older wingers at the club, he played him in the league games.
“It shows he’ll play young players and that’s encouraging for me.
“I come from Arsenal and I was U16 and sometimes U18 and I have played a few internationals in my age-groups.
“Both clubs are quite similar in how they play football as they like to keep possession, move the ball quickly and try and exploit teams and that will really help me."