We have seen a number of Celtic youngsters leave the club on loan in recent times. And the Hoops have sent midfielder Barry Coffey to League of Ireland First Division side, Cork City, on loan for the remainder of their season as reported by RTE. Their season runs till the end of October of this year.
In pre-season this summer, Coffey’s time on the pitch was limited. The 20-year-old midfielder featured in a few games but did not get a lot of playing minutes. And with it being unlikely that he will break into the first-team soon, a loan move was perhaps the best decision.
The Republic of Ireland youth international originally came to the Celtic Academy in 2017 despite there being interest from some other big clubs as well. Now, 20 years of age, he has not been able to break into the first-team picture at Parkhead yet.
This will once again raise the question about academy players not getting enough playing time at Parkhead in recent years. We have also seen some of the most highly-rated youth players end up leaving to join some of Europe’s biggest clubs like Bayern Munich, Liverpool and some others.
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Are Celtic’s academy players getting enough chances?
We have seen academy players or graduates come in and push for first-team minutes. We saw that from Conor Hazard for a while last season and he did well in the chances that he was given.
We have also seen this with Stephen Welsh. He has come in and played quite a bit recently. Mikey Johnston is also someone who might have been a regular by now but injuries have kept him on the sidelines.
The club have also produced quality players like Kieran Tierney and Callum McGregor in recent years. But these kind of players do not come around very often.
Loan spells are a great way for young players to develop. Just see what his spell at Notts County did for McGregor. Hopefully, players like Coffey can use these opportunities as well and return as better players. If they can do so, there is no reason for them not to get first-team minutes at Celtic in the near future.
But yes, the club must try to keep hold of their best prospects, as we have seen a number of them leave in recent years, which is a worry.